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What we do

Our programmes

Research

SARW generates and consolidates research in partnership with academic institutions. Currently under research we are focusing on

Artisanal and Small-scale Mining in Zimbabwe

Artisanal and small-scale miners (ASM) in Zimbabwe contribute around 52 per cent of gold deliveries in the country. Despite the economic contribution of artisanal and small-scale gold mining in the country, artisanal mining is still not regulated by law.

Given the strategic importance of ASM to the country’s economy, this project seeks to influence the formalization of artisanal mining in Zimbabwe’s primary mining law, the Mines and Minerals Act, or alternatively through a specific regulation. This is a research project which looks at the political economy of artisanal gold mining in Zimbabwe to identify the dynamics that act as opportunities and challenges to the advancement of a formalized legislative framework for the sub-sector. This study will be followed by a roundtable discussion of experts in ASM to stimulate structured conversations that will influence the enactment of a legislative and regulatory framework.

Diamond in the Democratic Republic of Congo

The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has abundant minerals, including diamonds which play an important role in the economy of the country and are currently extracted industrially but also by artisanal miners. In 2008, SARW published a research report on diamonds in the DRC which was well received and is being used by students in certain higher learning institutions. SARW now wishes to update the report and publish a second edition as things have changed in the industry since the last publication. This second research project looks at issues and actors in the diamond sector in the DRC, and the impact of the diamond industry on the country’ s economy.

Women and Mining in the DRC

With funding from the OSISA DRC office, SARW is implementing women in mining project in the DRC. It will allow us to know for the first time the number of women and girls working in the mining sector, in all fields of mining management, miners, administration and service providers. the project will focus on five major companies: Tenke Fungurume Mining, Mutanda Mining, Kamoto Copper Company, KIBALI GOLD and Générale des Carrières et des Mines.The project will analyze DRC mining legislation and mining company policies to assess the extent to which gender is being addressed. The project will be implemented in collaboration with the Women’s Forum on Natural Resources Governance, a women’s platform that was created and is being supported by SARW.

Monitoring FQM’s Activities in Zambia

SARW is conducting research in Solwezi, Zambia to assess the impact of First Quantum Minerals (FQM) ’s activities on the living conditions of local communities. FQM is the biggest contributor to the Zambian budget. Its investment raised hope among people of Solwezi that their lives will change for the better. This project assesses corporate governance and social responsibility of FQM. It also assesses the transformative nature of its social projects in Solwezi.

Capacity building

We educate communities about their rights and work with leaders to implement programmes and monitor progress. We educate media to report responsibly and train them on investigative journalism.

Community Capacity Building in Kansanshi

With funding from the Ford Foundation, SARW has established a project to build the capacity of members of Kansanshi’s local communities in Zambia for self-determination. It is expected that after the capacity building, these communities should be able to engage government and company to demand their rights to benefit from the minerals, to be consulted and participate in key decisions that affect their lives, and to be protected from mining pollution. The project will train 20 local activist leaders who will lead the mobilization of communities.

Local Communities and capacity building of Decentralized Entities in the Democratic Republic of Congo

SARW has signed Memorandum of Understandings with two decentralized entities to build their capacities on how to manage revenues they receive from mining companies. The 2018 revised mining code in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) made provision for mining companies to pay revenues directly to host communities (decentralized entities). The revenues include the allocation of 0.3 per cent for the financing of community development projects, the 15 per cent quota of the mining levy in favor of decentralized entities, and the obligation to sign an Expense Book by the mining company and the affected community. However, the legislator did not provide the mechanisms for supervising these structures to ensure the proper management of funds and development projects. SARW is investing in building the capacity of these decentralized entities in the management of funds and the formulation of local development plans. The pilot projects are those of Kampemba (in Upper Katanga) and Bayekes in Lualaba.

Advocacy

We engage with and support government and corporates on building accountable and transparent policies regarding the management of extractive resources. Currently we are focusing on:

Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative in the Democratic Republic of Congo

The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) joined the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) process in 2005 and its first report (on the 2007 fiscal year) was published in 2009. As a member of the Southern Africa Development Cooperation, the DRC is among the member states implementing the EITI with six reports already published. Over the past two years, the EITI has been experiencing several operational and implementation challenges. SARW intends to organize an assessment of the impacts of these challenges on the process of implementing and consolidating the EITI in the DRC.

Women and Mining in the DRC

With funding from the OSISA DRC office, SARW is implementing women in mining project in the DRC. It will allow us to know for the first time the number of women and girls working in the mining sector, in all fields of mining management, miners, administration and service providers. the project will focus on five major companies: Tenke Fungurume Mining, Mutanda Mining, Kamoto Copper Company, KIBALI GOLD and Générale des Carrières et des Mines.The project will analyze DRC mining legislation and mining company policies to assess the extent to which gender is being addressed. The project will be implemented in collaboration with the Women’s Forum on Natural Resources Governance, a women’s platform that was created and is being supported by SARW.

Nexus between Climate Change and Extractive Industries in Southern Africa

In partnership with KAS, SARW is setting up a project to address the nexus between climate change and the extractive industries in Southern Africa. The project will begin with the organization of a regional roundtable discussion on the sidelines of the DRC mining week in Lubumbashi in June 2020. Experts will be invited from across Southern Africa. The discussion will focus on how extractive activities contribute (negatively and positively) to climate change.

Popularisation of the DRC 2018 Mining Code

The revised DRC 2018 Mining Code has created revenue opportunities for members of communities affected by mining activities, contrary to the 2002 code. The code has innovations in local development that are supposed to contribute to the development of communities and entities affected by mining activities. These include the mining royalty, the allocation of 0.3% for the financing of community development projects. There had not been specific programmes aimed at ensuring that the communities and community leaders get knowledge of these funds and how to manage them until SARW identified this gap. SARW continues to monitor the funds from mismanagement and that they benefit local development.

Policy dialogue

This is aimed at promoting dialogue between all stakeholders. We currently do it through:

Alternative Mining Indaba 2020 in the Democratic Republic of Congo

Every year SARW organizes the Alternative Mining Indaba (AMI) in the DRC, creating a space for dialogue between the various actors in the Congolese mining sector. AMI is the biggest mining gathering in the DRC bringing governments (central and provincial), corporates, civil society organizations, communities, labor and activists. The fourth indaba will be held in September 2020 in Lubumbashi in the province of Upper-Katanga.

Oil Dialogue in the Democratic Republic of Congo

In 2015 the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) adopted a law on the general regime of hydrocarbons. Five years later, SARW would like to organize an evaluation of the implementation of the law by creating a space for dialogue between the various actors in the DRC’s oil sector.

The DRC has only one company producing oil, the French-British company Perenco Rep. It produces about 25 000 barrels per day. There are problems of access to information, production and revenue transparency, pollution and corporate social responsibility that are levelled against the company. The dialogue that SARW will organize will allow these issues to be discussed and to propose recommendations on how to improve corporate governance and social responsibility of PERENCO.

Women's Land Rights and Natural Resource Management in Southern Africa

In collaboration with Advancing Rights in Southern Africa (ARISA), SARW is preparing a regional roundtable discussion on women’s land rights and extractive industries in Southern Africa. The overall objective of this discussion is to develop evidence-based advocacy or litigation interventions that can move forward and advocate for an inclusive economic approach to managing women’s land rights, both regionally and in specific countries.

Campaigns

Justice for Miners Campaign in Southern Africa

The Justice for Miners Campaign aims to fight for justice for gold mineworkers who are dying of silicosis and TB while waiting for compensation. The campaign calls for a speedy and transparent compensation process. It provides support and stands in solidarity with mineworkers by exerting civic influence on policy and decision-makers by:

  • Advocating for legal reform of the related compensation laws which will reduce the onerous requirements for compensation and support workers who have contracted lung diseases in the workplace.
  • Informing, supporting and assisting affected mineworkers and their families to apply for and receive the compensation due to them;
  • Monitoring and supporting the progress and work of the Tshiamiso Trust to ensure compensation is paid to the affected mineworkers efficiently and without unnecessary delays;
  • Raising awareness of the bureaucratic, legal, geographical, political and financial challenges and obstacles faced by the sick and dying mine workers in trying to secure the compensation due to them;
  • Advocating and lobbying for the necessary institutional reforms to ensure that the sick and dying miners receive the compensation due to them without the undue bureaucratic, legal, institutional, medical and corporate obstacles faced by them;
  • Screenings of the documentary film, “Dying for Gold” across Southern Africa and internationally to mobilize solidarity, support and assistance for the sick and dying mineworkers and their families before many more of them die without receiving compensation.