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Nov. 18, 2021

EDITOR

2 min read

Mining bill should not be used as a political tool

Mining bill should not be used as a political tool

The Lesotho Promise

Story highlights

  • Political games should be forgotten in order for Lesotho to reduce poverty and create jobs
  • Bill seeks to remedy gap in 2005 Act where artisanal or small-scale miners of precious stones were not recognised

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THE adoption of the Mines and Minerals (Amendment) Bill of 2021 by Parliament is widely appreciated and will certainly go a long way towards boosting economic activity in the country.

But, the Government should accelerate efforts and ensure that the Bill becomes law sooner than later in order to allow for ground work to begin for small-scale miners.

Unlike hundreds of bills that have perhaps been overlooked and abandoned by the Government, this one in particular, is more important and therefore deserves to be treated with the urgency it deserves.

Political games should be put aside in this regard if the country is seriously concerned about the wellbeing of its people in line with reducing hunger and creating employment.

Failure to achieve in this issue will definitely prove the mindset which thousands of people now have about politicians in this country - that none of them really cares about the people on the ground.

With them, it is always ‘all talk and no action’.

That behavior has since been realised by many and our understanding is that the current Government should really double efforts, and could change people’s perceptions if only they could ensure the success of this brilliant initiative.   

The Bill, which was referred to the Portfolio Committee on Natural Resources, Tourism and Land Cluster for consideration will allow the Government to work towards recognising and repositioning the Artisanal and Small- Scale Miners (ASM) sub sector in mining of precious stones in an attempt to alleviate poverty.

It seeks to remedy the gap in the 2005 Act where artisanal or small-scale miners of precious stones had no recognition, were not licensed and or permitted to mine.

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The Bill seeks to include them and will further enable the ASM subsector to fulfill its potential for alleviating poverty and contributing to development, particularly in the rural areas.

With the national elections quickly approaching in 2022, the move to accommodate smallholder miners should not have been used as a tool for political campaigns with no form of action to fulfill it.

This comes to mind because politicians have a tendency to take advantage of the powers they have to try and manipulate people into voting for them by preaching empty promises.

This is even easier to do for those that are in government because they have resources that allow them to tell lies to the people.

This is because they know that some people will easily believe in their promises and maybe bring them back into power only to fail yet again.   

 

 

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