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Free, prior and informed consent in the extractive industries in southern Africa

An analysis of legislation and their implementation in Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa, Zimbabwe, and Zambia

Published by South Africa’s Legal Resources Centre (LRC) and Oxfam, this report examines the laws and policies relevant to community consent, and the challenges to implementing those rights, in Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe. This research set out to identify major legal and policy gaps in the codification and implementation of Free Prior Informed Consent (FPIC) in the legal and policy frameworks of these south African countries with particular reference to the mining industries in these countries.

Country specific recommendations are provided on how the implementation of customary land protections can be strengthened, including:

  • Women’s equal rights to land tenure and effective participation in consent processes
  • Full and timely disclosure of all information about the likely impacts and benefits of a project
  • Decisions of traditional leaders cannot be assumed to reflect the consensus views of all community members
  • Adequate financial and human resources are needed so that government departments can coordinate effectively, properly assess projects in terms of social and environmental requirements and enforce compliance with laws and policies
  • Cheap, fast, and equal access to legal advice and representation is needed so that redress can be secured when consent processes are not followed correctly

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