“The rocky road”: Community trusts as conduits for community and mining company conflict in South Africa

In South Africa, attempts to obtain and maintain a social license to operate (SLO) have included community trusts initiated by mining companies. Over the past two decades, community development trusts have been the subject of high and rising levels of popular mobilisation in mining host communities. Three principal observations arise from the analysis of community trusts in South Africa. First, the trusts are structures independent of mining operations through which community equitable shares ‒ usually between 2% and 5% of investment related to mining CSR ‒ are directed. Second, though the trusts are conceived to be representative and participatory, unilateral decision-making seems to be a key feature of both their communicative and organisational approaches. Finally, community trusts in tribal areas serve the interests of tribal leaders above those of the local villagers. Community trusts that are governed, genuinely, along with democratic ideals that support inclusiveness, responsiveness and accountability, will go a long way in harmonising relations between local communities and mining companies.


SMI Seminar Series presented by Dr Sethulego Matebesi (UFS)

Thu 5 Jul 2018 10:00am11:00am


James Foots Building (47a)
The University of Queensland
St Lucia Campus
SMI Level 4 Seminar Room