Community Support-By Law: Businesses in Katanga Are Governed by Legislation That Clearly Sets out Their Corporate Social Responsibility So That It's Impossible for Them to Ignore It

African Business, February 2014 | Go to article overview

Community Support-By Law: Businesses in Katanga Are Governed by Legislation That Clearly Sets out Their Corporate Social Responsibility So That It's Impossible for Them to Ignore It


Companies based in Katanga are demonstrating that they care about their social, as well as financial, balance sheets. Far from neglecting their responsibilities to the villages where they operate, or the development of the province, they devote a share of their mining royalties to projects that benefit their employees and their families.

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This includes renovating infrastructure, drilling wells, supplying electricity, providing access to drinking water, building homes, roads, bridges, hospitals and schools. They also complement the provincial government's social policy.

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) follows a clear legislative framework. The 2002 Mining Code stipulates that companies are required to "improve the welfare of local people by implementing economic and social development programmes". They are required to invest 10% of their profits in the rural sector.

The law also encourages them to allocate 500 hectares of agricultural land to growing maize to feed local people. This is why, for example, Ruashi Mining owns 500 ha of maize crops in Kinsenda and more than 500 ha of other crops, with the Sambwa and Kipushi agricultural cooperatives. Promoting skills transfer and giving priority to recruiting and training the local workforce are essential aspects of the commitment that companies make in all sectors. For example, among internet and telephone operating companies, Vodacom Congo's Education Project supplies schools with classroom Furniture and other school materials, and internet provider Global Broadband Solution has made CSR one of its priorities for 2014.

Mining companies are creating non-profit foundations, often backed up with healthy budgets, to manage these activities that are not part of their core business. The Gertler Family Foundation, one of the country's largest charities that was created by a trust set up by the Gertler family, supports various community projects geared to society's most vulnerable, such as handicapped people and orphans. …

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