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‘Cursed’ Communities? Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), Company Towns and the Mining Industry in Namibia


  • David Littlewood



This article examines Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and mining community development, sustainability and viability. These issues are considered focussing on current and former company-owned mining towns in Namibia. Historically company towns have been a feature of mining activity in Namibia. However, the fate of such towns upon mine closure has been and remains controversial. Declining former mining communities and even ghost mining towns can be found across the country. This article draws upon research undertaken in Namibia and considers these issues with reference to three case study communities. This article examines the complexities which surround decision-making about these communities, and the challenges faced in efforts to encourage their sustainability after mining. In this article, mine company engagements through CSR with the development, sustainability and viability of such communities are also critically discussed. The role, responsibilities, and actions of the state in relation to these communities are furthermore reflected upon. Finally, ways forward for these communities are considered. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Suggested Citation

  • David Littlewood, 2014. "‘Cursed’ Communities? Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), Company Towns and the Mining Industry in Namibia," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 120(1), pages 39-63, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:jbuset:v:120:y:2014:i:1:p:39-63
    DOI: 10.1007/s10551-013-1649-7

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Ralph Hamann & Paul Kapelus, 2004. "Corporate Social Responsibility in Mining in Southern Africa: Fair accountability or just greenwash?," Development, Palgrave Macmillan;Society for International Deveopment, vol. 47(3), pages 85-92, September.
    2. Aloysius Newenham-Kahindi, 2011. "A Global Mining Corporation and Local Communities in the Lake Victoria Zone: The Case of Barrick Gold Multinational in Tanzania," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 99(2), pages 253-282, March.
    3. Christina Beatty & Stephen Fothergill, 1996. "Labour Market Adjustment in Areas of Chronic Industrial Decline: The Case of the UK Coalfields," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 30(7), pages 627-640.
    4. Frederick Bird, 2009. "Project CARE: Placer Dome’s Efforts to Help Laid-off South African Miners Find Remunerative Work," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 89(2), pages 183-190, November.
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