The Minister for Mining, Dotto Biteko gave the directive early this week when opening a two-day training workshop in Geita town bringing together business people of Geita Region, and sponsored by Geita Gold Mines (GGM).
The minister also warned GGM in its habit of issuing of service provision contracts to foreign firms instead of giving priority to local firms in accordance to the requirements of the Mining Act of 2017 (Act No. 8).
Biteko said GGM leads in paying taxes to the government than any other mining companies in the country, but on the issue of business conducted inside the mine there are still challenges as local people are sidelined.
He said from a recent inspection conducted in various mining companies, they found one mining company to have been operating 54 smaller companies.
He urged hence called upon GGM to give priority to local business people in the region especially in the issue of employment because one day the mine will cease to exist, leaving Geita residents poor.
“It is true that GGM pays huge amounts of taxes to the government than other mining companies and is the first to adhere to the 2017 Mining law on the community social responsibility (CSR) payment to district councils but on its business sector there are still many challenges as Geita business people are sidelined,” said Biteko.
Explaining the training workshop, GGM Director Richard Jordinson said the aim is to increase performance of existing service providers, and to improve communication between them and those expected to be incorporated.
He said the goal of the training is to educate participants on the chain of values and the work undertaken in the mine - all in the aim to support the government on the need of purchasing local products.
He said the workshop primarily aims at the service providers in the community, to enhance their capacity in comprehending and satisfying the norms and standards in doing business inside the mine, including procedures in obtaining GGM tenders.
On his part, GGML Vice President Simon Shayo said the aim is to ensure that the community in Geita town benefit from cooperation between GGML and Anglo-Gold Ashanti.
He said in 2018 the GGML service provision network increased and numbered 305 Tanzanians who own businesses, which translates to 76 percent of the company’s total purchases as directed at local producers.
Earlier the Deputy Minister who is also MP for Geita constituency said the situation is different from what prevailed in 2015.
Visitors coming to Geita town had difficulty to realize it is surrounded by riches from gold, and praised the government of President John Magufuli for amending the Mining Act.