Recently the Canadian Government introduced laws making it illegal for miners operating in Africa to make “facilitation payments”.
It followed the UK in putting in place laws that make paying small sums to obtain routine government services punishable by fines and jail sentences.
In an article in the Australian Financial Review, an industry group representing Australian miners operating in Africa has called on the Australian government not to copy them.
“We would all like to be able to do business in Africa without the need to make facilitation payments but what drives this behaviour is essentially poverty and lack of resources in governments,” AAMIG president Bill Turner told the paper.
“Until the level of economic wellbeing in these countries lifts as a result of investment, and governments have revenue to do what they should be doing, including paying their employees reasonable salaries, then this behaviour is going to continue.
“To think you can just flick some legislation through somewhere around the world, be it Canberra, Ottawa or London, and expect all these things to change is not very realistic.”
Read more here.
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