Experiences and perceptions of mining CSR representatives in Thabazimbi municipality: dependency and empowerment
Rammusi, Charlotte Lesego
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The aim of the research was to understand the experiences and challenges of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) in Thabazimbi and the implications and consequences for communities in terms of dependency and empowerment, as seen from the perspective of the mining representatives. As corporate citizens, mining companies generate profits through the exploitation of mineral resources. There is an expectation that some of the benefits of this mining endeavours should be passed on to communities surrounding the company. This is generally considered the best sustainability practice and companies are expected to act as responsible corporate citizens. Most of the previous research on CSR has focused on the perceptions of community members. This research is unique in that it focuses on the effects of CSR on the experiences and perceptions of key personnel from the mining companies who are responsible for the designing and implementing CSR strategies. Mining company representatives did acknowledge that the past approach to CSR has created some dependency issues. However, more recently the company has moved to a strategy that focuses more on empowerment. They also acknowledge that, going forward, a new challenge emerges for mining companies, communities and local government. This challenge is to work towards ensuring sustainable development and empowerment with the focus on actual community needs. The conclusion was that for empowerment to be realised all relevant stakeholders need to play a role in the development process.