MWILA NTAMBI, Chingola
MINISTER of Mines and Minerals Development Christopher Yaluma says there is need to formalise the mining activities of small-scale
miners, commonly known as jerabos, to promote safety and sanity in their operations.
Speaking in Chingola yesterday after he, in the company of small-scale miners, visited three disused mine dumpsites in Chingola, Mr Yaluma said a lasting solution should be found regarding the issue of the jerabos.
He said he has had talks with Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) and leaders of small-scale miners to see how best a win-win situation can be arrived at.
“We need to normalise some of these things and for us to achieve that, we need concerted efforts from all stakeholders,” he said.
Mr Yaluma said all the loose ends, including issues of safety and paying of taxes to Government, will be taken into account before a final decision is made.
He said he was in Chingola on a fact-finding mission to see what was happening on the ground and how best the issues can be resolved.
Mr Yaluma said he wants small-scale miners to understand that issues of safety are just as paramount as issues of bread and butter and that it is important that things are done properly for the benefit of all.
And Sontapo Chingola Co-operative vice-chairman Douglas Chilembe said all his members are interested in is to earn a living and support their families.
The former boxer said if Government empowers the youth with the disused mine dumps, they will ensure no-one strays into KCM to steal copper ore.
And another small-scale miner, Joseph Musonda, pleaded with Government to give the mine dumps to the youth because they want to work in dignity and respect.
Mr Musonda said Government is a parent to all and if it sees the group doing something wrong, it is free to correct them.
He said all the youth want are jobs to take care of their families.
A marketeer, Mary Mulenga, appealed to Government to give the dumps to the youth because they support traders by buying goods at the markets.