Land and Mining Consultancy

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Background

Corruption Watch (CW) is a non-profit organisation launched in January 2012. The organisation uses the reports of corruption from the public as an important source of information to fight corruption and hold leaders accountable for their actions. CW exposes corruption through communications platforms and mobilises the public to take a stand against corruption and the abuse of public funds. An important area of CW’s work is in the extractives sector with a focus on examining the risks and vulnerabilities in mining licensing processes when mining licenses, contracts and permits are awarded which give rise to corruption.

A key risk CW has identified at the initial stage of the value chain is the intersection of the exercise of land rights and the exercise of mining rights so as to ensure economic mobility of land right holders. This is most evident with the vulnerable legal framework related to meaningful community engagement and public participation in mining application processes, and the insecurity of tenure with communal land ownership in traditional communities.

The structure of mineral rights in South Africa is designed to prevent land owners from blocking mining development that has potential to benefit the country as a whole. Unfortunately, and ironically given the policy objective of empowering black South Africans in the new democracy, the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act (MPRDA) often disproportionately disadvantages rural black communities. This happens because of: 1) an emphasis on commercial value as adequate compensation that compensates individual landholders better than less mobile communal owners; 2) inadequate barriers to start mining or prospecting before negotiating compensation, which undermines the negotiating position of surface owners and occupiers.

Additionally, the lack of consultation combined with a lack of transparency raises questions on whether these decisions are not unduly influenced. Often, communities that lose their land due to mining projects are not compensated and face significant political, economic and social barriers to claim their agency. The prevalence of corruption and maladministration in the sector adds to the challenges.

CW is keen to address these income and wealth inequalities related to the vulnerabilities of land rights, including land reform, and access to natural resources. Our aim is to identify and advocate for legal and policy reform which seek to ensure that those living in traditional communities can participate in decisions affecting their land and to claim their right to compensation.

Terms of Reference:

The specific terms of reference of the consultancy are research, interrogate, review and analyse the:
role and effectiveness of land reform policies specific to strengthening security of land tenure of traditional communities;
regulatory/policy/legislative changes in response to the findings of the High Level Panel Report on the Assessment of Key Legislation and the Acceleration of Fundamental Change related to communal tenure, traditional leadership laws, communal property associations; interplay between MPRDA and IPLRA; recommendations of compensation models for land right holders to enable economic mobility;
drivers of the exercise of participation rights in mining-affected communities’ vis-a-vis benefit sharing agreements for land use.
Key Deliverables:
Draft a comprehensive research report that will explore role and effectiveness of land reform policies specific to strengthening security of land tenure of traditional communities, interplay between MPRDA and IPLRA with reference to the corruption weaknesses and opportunities for reform, recommendations of compensation models for land right holders to enable economic mobility, and the drivers of the exercise of participation rights in mining-affected communities’ vis-a-vis benefit sharing agreements for land use.
Produce a high level briefing note no more than 10 pages specific to the regulatory/policy/legislative changes in response to the findings of the High Level Panel Report on the Assessment of Key Legislation and the Acceleration of Fundamental Change related to communal tenure, traditional leadership laws, communal property associations;
Create high level presentation directed to policy makers that proposes policy and legal recommendations to guide good governance and safeguard land owner’s rights specifically rural women to participation in mining application processes, and exercise rights to compensation.
Availability and Timeline

The consultant will start work by the 1 October 2021 and will have completed the consultancy by 4 February 2022. No travel is expected as part of this consultancy. The consultant will complete this assignment from their primary place of work.

Selection Criteria

The consultant must have:
A graduate degree in Law, Political Science, Social Science, Economics and/ or any other relevant similar disciplines. Postgraduate tertiary qualification advantageous;
At least 8 years’ experience in national work in on or more of the following fields; mineral resource governance, civil society, land governance, traditional governance, developmental studies, human rights, anti-corruption and good governance, and any other related field;
Understanding of corruption risks and challenges, transparency, good governance, and accountability in the extractives sector;
Understanding of land rights, customary rights, rural democracy and traditional governance rights;
Proven research background including highly developed analytical skills, with a track record of undertaking both primary and secondary research;
Demonstrated written skills;
Attention to detail;
Ability to meet deadlines;
Responsiveness to inquiries and excellent communication skills
Independence from government and extractive companies
CLOSING DATE: 06 September 2021

If you are interested in applying, please send your expression of interest clearly stating your qualifications, interest in the research, methodology to be used and cost of the consultancy
to: [email protected] with the subject line “Land and Mining Consultancy”

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