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Sustainable social development in the South African mining sector


  • Freek Cronje
  • Charity Chenga


For decades South Africa's mining sector has been profiteering while neglecting mining communities' development needs. Most of these communities now have social problems. Recently, forces outside the sector - globalisation, the government, the communities themselves - have pressured the mining organisations to become corporate citizens; that is, to take on social responsibilities and work towards sustainable development in their areas. However, this study revealed a gap between policy and practice: social responsibility and real sustainable development do not reach the communities. This article suggests some critical underlying factors that must be dealt with to close this gap: acculturation stress, power relationships, communication and priorities, and identifying who takes responsibility for various facets of development. The article is based on a study of how stakeholders view community development needs. It makes two main recommendations: a process approach to corporate social responsibility and development rather than 'quick fixes', and proper community engagement initiatives.

Suggested Citation

  • Freek Cronje & Charity Chenga, 2009. "Sustainable social development in the South African mining sector," Development Southern Africa, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 26(3), pages 413-427.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:deveza:v:26:y:2009:i:3:p:413-427
    DOI: 10.1080/03768350903086788

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    1. repec:eee:jrpoli:v:53:y:2017:i:c:p:190-200 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Banks, Glenn, 2013. "Little by little, inch by inch: Project expansion assessments in the Papua New Guinea mining industry," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(4), pages 688-695.


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