Mining operations by Mthandazo Mthandazo Women Miners Association is an indication that women have the capacity and potential to make an impact in the US$12 billion mining roadmap subsequently leading to the President’s vision for the economy to achieve an upper-middle-income status, Parliamentary Portfolio on Mines and Mining Development chairperson Hon Edmond Mkaratigwa has said.
Speaking at Mthandazo women in mining gold service centre near Gwanda on Parliamentary fact-finding mission on gold leakages the Portfolio Committee chairperson commended the pilot project which is being spearheaded by 38 women with a Trustee run by 7 women as pivotal for the government to fund the project that the whole mining sector can learn from it.
“This is a good project in my own view, if you empower a woman you empower the whole nation. As a pilot project, we have to support it. This project must be registered and upscaled, it must be prioritized by the government that the whole mining sector can learn from it,” Mkaratigwa said.
Mkaratigwa also enquired if it could be considered that the pilot project is used to encourage miners to accept soft currency in US$ to reduce the risk of miners getting robbed because criminals will have the information that they have sold their gold in cash.
“This pilot project can also be used to encourage electronic money in USD. It is safe from robberies and we think this will also encourage other miners to accept electronic money,” he said.
Bulawayo Metropolitan Province House of Assembly Constituency member Jasmine Toffa who was standing as the acting chairperson on the visit to Mthandazo women in mining gold service centre said the project was wonderful and it was being run better than the much-appraised government-owned Bubi gold service centre.
One student from the school of Mines who is doing her attachment with Mthandazo said she has learnt a lot from the initiative giving her the confidence that she has the capacity to do more than what the Mthandazo women are doing.
“I have learnt that as a woman I can do it also, we now have the confidence and we know that as young women can make a difference in the mining sector and now the experience in the industry is there,” she said.