Ishemunyoro Chingwere Business Reporter
Government has set itself an “early 2021” deadline by which it should have migrated from the current manual to the more efficient and computer-based cadastre system in the administration of mining title, Mines and Mining Development Minister Winston Chitando has said.
Minister Chitando said this while addressing delegates who attended the unveiling of the Chamber of Mines of Zimbabwe’s (CoMZ) 2019 State of the Zimbabwe Mining Industry Survey results in Harare yesterday.
A cadastre is normally a computer-based and up-to-date land information system containing a record of interests in land such as owners’ rights, restrictions and responsibilities.
Some of the concerns by mining executives, as highlighted by the survey, related to outdated ownership database as well as widespread disputes over claim boundaries.
In response, Minister Chitando said mining title administration was key towards the achieving of a successful mining industry particularly the US$12 billion annual export industry by 2023 as set out by President Mnangagwa.
“Government is fully committed to the US$12 billion milestone . . . it is going to be achieved, but of course having said that, there is need to address gaps and some of the realities which have been mentioned.
“Government is carrying out a number of interventions to try and make sure the US$12 billion is achieved. These include but not limited to, firstly the cadastre system.
“It’s a fact that our mining administration title, by the very nature that it’s manual, it’s not efficient and it’s also giving rise to a number of disputes.
“A team is being put up together with a commitment that by early 2021 the cadastre system will be up and running,” he said.
Survey results also show that industry is not happy with the time it is taking Government to settle pegging complaints and disputes over claim boundaries as well as delays in applying for a prospecting licence and certificate of registration and inspection.
Minister Chitando said this was due to lack of capacity at provincial mining offices and Government had begun acquiring vehicles for use by these officers in the execution of their duties.
“Some of the challenges (in the survey) revolve around the capacitation of provincial mining offices in terms of the dispute resolution process, people applying for mining title . . .
“(To address the challenge) all provincial mining offices have been given a vehicle to address issues to do with dispute resolution and mining title allocation. Some by tomorrow (today) will be getting second vehicles, all dedicated to that cause,” said Minister Chitando.
Minister Chitando also noted that while it would be difficult for Government to agree to all concerns raised by industry, it was however pleasing to note that there is no fundamental differences between private sector expectations and Government positions.