STATISTICS released by Wacam, a non–governmental mining advocacy group indicatethat a total of about 30,000 landlords from Old Atuabo, Mandekrom, Akontase and SofoMensahkrom in the gold mining communities were in the past five years displaced by Gold Fields Ghana Limited (GFGL).
According to Wacam, if each landlord had a family size of four, “then it gives an idea of the level of unemployment created by GFGL in the country”.
In a statement signed and issued by the Associate Executive Director of Wacam, Mrs, Hannah Owusu-Koranteng and copied to Today in Accra, it disclosed that the number of displaced farmers through the operations of GFGL keeps increasing.
This development, the statement said, informed the group’s decision to issue a worded strong press statement to kick against the recent moves by Gold Fields Ghana Limited to adopt contract mining, and urged government to intervene.
It therefore warned government against the moves by Gold Fields Ghana Limited to transition from owner mining to contract mining.
Wacam in the statement insisted that the transition would mean a “reduced remuneration for employees and a resultant reduction in aggregate income tax from employees and these negative effects would have cascading effects on society and national development.”
“The transition from owner mining to contract mining implies that it is shirking its responsibility of creating decent jobs. The affected employees would suffer diminution in their terms and conditions of service,” a portion of the statement revealed.
The group expressed worry over the future of mining in the country and, thus sounded a warning to government to resist the moves as a successful transition by GFGL from owner mining to contract mining would encourage “all mining companies to adopt contract mining thereby leading to huge savings for the company from cuts on labour cost.”
The statement, instead suggested that a policy should be made against contract mining in Ghana as it is not in the best interest of the people of Ghana who are the true owners of natural resources.
The Ghana Mineworkers’ Union and GFCL had since November 2017 been in dispute over the legitimacy of the company to adopt contract mining instead of the current owner mining model.
The contract mining will see GFCL hand over its operations at the Tarkwa Mine to private contractors. The move will see over 2000 workers lose their jobs.