Map your stakeholders to fully understand expectations and risk

Author(s): 
Adel Malemane interviewed by Leadership Magazine
Date: 
Friday, March 1, 2019
First presented: 
Leadership Magazine
Type: 
Article
Category: 
Environmental/Social

The potential for conflict between South African mines and communities is on the rise, inflamed by job losses in the sector and deteriorating profitability that makes it more difficult for mines to meet stakeholder expectations.

What is becoming increasingly vital is for mines to develop a deeper understanding of their stakeholders—especially mineaffected communities—and to take a proactive approach to building relationships and managing expectations.

It is clear from our work in stakeholder engagement that community expectations are often driven by legacy issues; these are mostly historical issues that have not been timeously resolved to the communities' satisfaction. Communities who have been resettled, for instance, are often those with the most significant grievances, and these linger well into the life of the mine and even beyond.

The pace of staff turnover at mines-perhaps exacerbated by the prolonged economic downturn - can aggravate the impact of legacy issues, as companies' institutional memory is lost as a result. Often, there is a lack of proper record-keeping relating to a mine's engagements with stakeholders, especially regarding commitments made over the years; basic documents such as agendas and minutes of meetings may not be systematically kept, or grievances may not be properly captured and attended to. Similarly, there are gaps in information held by the communities, as opposed to information held by the mines; this often results in discrepancies in information required to inform a common understanding of ssues that arise through ongoing engagement.

Acknowledged: Leadership Magazine

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