Kenmare is committed to conducting all of its activities in a manner that minimises risks to employees, contractors, the general public and the environment.
The Company recognises that its license to operate requires a good relationship with the local community. Kenmare’s stakeholder engagement plan is now updated annually and takes into account any changing dynamics in the relationship between the Mine and the community.
Kenmare recognises that the benefits of community engagement include:
- A strengthened sense of community;
- The development of a co-operative working environment;
- Communities that take a greater responsibility for what is happening in their areas;
- Increased conflict management capacities; and
- Informed policy-making by local government.
Engagement focuses on the processes that bring people together. Good community engagement builds agreement around issues and creates momentum for communities to address these issues. Community members need to be at the centre of the engagement process to ensure that they are empowered and have control over their decision-making processes. Kenmare’s approach is therefore to engage frequently and proactively with communities adjacent to the Mine.
The key criteria that Kenmare focuses on to ensure successful engagement are:
- Ensuring that a broad range of people and sectors participate in the process;
- Striving to resolve complex issues;
- Creating a vision that achieves results and creates beneficial change;
- Ensuring collaboration and social inclusion;
- Identifying local priorities together with communities; and
- Creating a balance between the community engagement process and the resulting actions required from both the Company and the community.
In order to manage its stakeholder engagement process the Mine has a Community Liaison Department. The department is led by the Community Superintendent who has two Community Liaison Officers (“CLOs”) working under her. The Community Superintendent reports directly to the General Manager. The CLOs are mandated to deal with issues raised by local communities. Typical issues include crop compensation, grave relocations, general grievances, employment opportunities, and water and sanitation issues. These are dealt with individually if applicable, or in the regular community workshop forums facilitated by Kenmare. While specific community relations programmes will change between project phases the overall goal is to align Kenmare’s business and community actions to improve communication between the Company and the community.
Regular meetings were held with representatives of local communities during the year to share information. Minutes are prepared for all meetings and are approved by the Group and the representatives.
The Local Working Group (“LWG”) is the primary channel of communication between the Company, government representatives and representatives from the surrounding communities. This LWG, which has been set up to ensure continuity of issues discussed by a permanent group, is composed of the village secretaries, local government officials, traditional leaders, school directors, a representative of the local women’s organisation, a representative of the youth population and elected community leaders. By invitation representatives from District Government also take part.
During the year there were six formal community meetings dealing with issues of recruitment, communication between the villages, water supply, farm land, and influx management. There were also three meetings held with the resettled members of Namalope village on the close-out of the village resettlement and licensing of the new housing (including final compensation for non-permanent structures) and two meetings with the wider community to discuss ongoing crop compensation procedures. There is constant interaction on a daily basis between the Community Liaison Department and the local community.