By Business Reporter – Friday 6 September 2019
HARARE (Mining Index) – FOLLOWING successive years of clamouring for government and related stakeholders to reduce exorbitant mining fees hindering growth in the extractive sector, government has promised to urgently address overregulation, multiple licencing and registration requirements to create a conducive and supportive destination of choice for investors in all sectors of the economy.
This was said by the chief secretary to the President and cabinet Misheck Sibanda in Harare yesterday during the launch of the 2020-2021 edition of the Ease of Doing Business Reform Program for Zimbabwe.
“It is with this purview of this new policy that over-regulation in some sectors; multiple licencing or registration requirements will be attended to and redressed urgently. Particular focus would be on reducing unnecessary costs which are a burden and disincentive to ease of doing business.”
The Ease of Doing Business Reforms are high on the national socio-economic development agenda to achieve the targets as set out in Finance Minister, Mthuli Ncube’s Transitional Stabilisation Programme (TSP).
Miners are paying up to 14 licences and fees, choking their budget, minimising their growth as their survival and growth depended on the reduction of such fees.
Penalties levied on defaulters are also exorbitant.
Some of the various exorbitant fees being levied range from registration, inspection, pegging and prospecting fees.
Government also charges miners a substantive amount a year for the storage of explosive magazines.
Legislative compliance issues from Environmental Management Agency (EMA) and Zimbabwe Parks are also said to be on the high side.
Environmental Management Agency (EMA) however reduced Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) fees for artisanal and small scale miners on condition that total expenses do not go beyond stipulated figures per month.
Rural District Councils (RDCs) also have own separate charges.
Artisanal and small scale miners’ representative bodies called for RDCs to adopt a uniform charge across all provinces.
“There must be uniformity for RDCs when pegging their charges and we are clamouring for uniformity among RDCs,” said Zimbabwe Miners Federation (ZMF) President Henrietta Rushwaya in December 2018 during the Artisanal miner’s conference hosted by Institute for Sustainability Africa (INSAF) in Harare.
“Levies need to be reviewed downwards while ZIMRA needs to come up with packages for small scale miners,” she said. ENDS//