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‘Environmental laws should address disputes’

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BY PRAISEMORE SITHOLE

ENVIRONMENT minister Mangaliso Ndlovu has been urged to ensure that the Environmental Management Act (Chapter 20:27) is amended to include clauses that facilitate the resolution of coal exploration disputes.

This was said on Monday by the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Environment, which expressed concern over coal exploration disputes, especially in the Dinde area in Hwange, where a Chinese firm, Beifa Investment has been embroiled in a wrangle with the community.

MPs said some mining exploration activities were contaminating water used by communities.

“The committee recommends that the Environment minister immediately amend the Environmental Management Act to clearly spell out the scope and standards to be followed by registered consultants on stakeholder consultations by  December 31, 2021,” the committee report read.

“The committee also recommends that EMA introduces creative capacity-building initiatives for communities in mining areas to understand the environment impact assessment processes and provide community leaders with the requisite information that empowers them to handle the consultation processes by December 31 2021,” it said.

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