Communication between the mine and the community in a mining resettlement project: a case study on Kumba Iron Ore's Dingleton Project
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Kumba Iron Ore, one of Anglo-American's iron ore mining companies operating in South Africa, has recently undertaken a resettlement of the residents of the town of Dingleton at their Sishen Mine in Northern Cape. The primary objective of the Dingleton resettlement project was to relocate the town of Dingleton and its community to a new site or sites acceptable to all stakeholders and to compensate affected parties for losses incurred as a result of the relocation. The Dingleton resettlement project is a prime example of social change where many people will be directly affected by the change. Communication within the project should therefore be considered as communication for social change, where the participatory approach is the norm to facilitate this change in a positive manner. This study argues that communication within the Kumba Iron Ore's Dingleton resettlement project needs to adhere to the following principles of the participatory approach to development communication: participation, dialogue, cultural identity and empowerment. The general research question of this study is: What is the nature of communication between the mine and the community in Kumba Iron Ore's Dingleton resettlement project? In order to understand the nature of communication between the Dingleton Community and Kumba mine, a qualitative approach was used in this study. Semi-structured interviews with representatives from the mine and focus groups with representatives from the community were selected as research methods and qualitative content analysis was applied to analyse the results of the empirical study. The findings of the empirical study show that the nature of communication between the mine and the community, within the context of the Dingleton resettlement project, for the most part, did not adhere to the normative principles of the participatory approach to communication for social change. The project failed to facilitate sufficient participation of the Dingleton community in the project. Furthermore, the communication between the mine and the community did not resemble dialogical communication and community members' cultural identity was not respected and accommodated in all aspects of the project. Finally, the project did not sufficiently facilitate empowerment of the community, therefore, the nature of communication in the Dingleton resettlement project is considered to be non-participatory.
- Humanities