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Calls for women in mining to access funding

Calls for women in mining to access funding

Sithembile Ndlovu Mthandazo Women Miners Association

The Founder of Mthandazo Women Miners Association Trust Sithembile Ndlovu has called on the government and the business community to extend a hand in funding women’s gold projects as women in mining seek to grow from small-scale to medium-scale mining.

Rudairo Mapuranga

Speaking at the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Mines and Mining Development All Stakeholders Workshop on Gold Sector Value Chain in Kariba held recently Ndlovu said, it is of importance for women to be funded as they have shown potential to grow and expand in the gold mining industry.

“Women have the potential to grow and expand in the mining field, they need a supporting hand to complete the mission.

“Women have mostly been working from hand to mouth. Capital platforms need to be accessible for women from loans to machinery. This will give women the opportunity to move to medium scale because they are able to yield production through attaining resources,” she said.

Ndlovu also said that women in mining should be empowered not only through loans and funding but in knowledge to accelerate their growth from small to medium-scale mining.

“Women need to be trained in terms of acquiring geological knowledge for groundwork, knowing the constitution, statutory instruments, laws and regulations in mining. This will create an opportunity for women to grow because most women fear to stand up for themselves and allow intimidation due to a lack of knowing their rights. We are kindly pleading with the government to create a desk for women in mining in order for women to receive exposure, trainings and a comfortable space to inquire about what they need to know in the mining sector. From my personal experience I travelled to Nairobi and shared ground with women from other countries who were only given the opportunity to be buyers and came to the realization that Zimbabwe is one of the few countries that allows women to own their own claims therefore we need further support to shift from small to medium scale miners together as women,” Ndlovu said.

Speaking at the same event Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Mines and Mining Development chairperson Hon Edmond Mkaratigwa said it was of importance for the government to empower women through funding and knowledge.

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“It would be amiss for me not to say something about women in mining. I am sure you will agree with me that there are very few brave women who are involved in mining and this is largely because, by nature, the mining industry is a very tough terrain.

“As a Committee, we had an opportunity to visit Mthandazo Women Miners in Gwanda, and we all got to understand the challenges that women miners are facing.

“It would be prudent for either the Reserve Bank or Fidelity Printers to set aside a specific fund earmarked for women miners only. If we allow women to compete for loans alongside their male counterparts, they will not be able to benefit equally,” Mkaratigwa said.

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