Some workers at the Chinese-owned Hualin Investments (Pvt) Limited mine in Pumula North, Bulawayo, are reportedly sleeping in dog kennels due to a shortage of accommodation.
This was revealed by a study on the mine conducted by the National University of Science and Technology (NUST) Dean of the Faculty of Commerce, Peter Nkala.
The research was titled “Quarrying my doorstep: The case of one company in Ward 17, Bulawayo Metropolitan Province”.
Nkala presented his findings at a Policy Brief hosted by the Public Policy and Research Institute of Zimbabwe (PPRZ) last Thursday. He said:
Some of the concerns raised are that blasting is affecting the houses and other infrastructure in the area.
There is damage to the roads in the area as 21-tonne trucks coming to collect the quarry are damaging roads.
Employment of outsiders who are actually desperate that they accept living in dog kennels.
… People are working long hours and are underpaid. Dust from the quarry is affecting people as well as flora and fauna.
There are unfulfilled promises by the investor such as donating Jojo tanks.
The company drilled a borehole to meet their water requirements but it is said they will not share the water with the community, which is not good neighbourliness.
After the presentations, participants queried how Hualin was allowed to operate without considering the effects of its activities on the environment.
Ward 17 councillor, Sikhululekile Moyo, who was also present at the policy brief, said Hualin applied to operate as was given a licence by the Ministry of Mines