Strategic communication, enhanced sustainability and embedded communities: Assessing approaches by a platinum mine in Zimbabwe




Strategic communication, Stakeholder theory, Corporate social responsibility, Corporate social sustainability, Community engagement, Embedded community, Mining, Zimbabwe


The article assesses strategic communication approaches used by Unki mine to enhance sustainability with its embedded community from 2016 to date in Shurugwi, Zimbabwe. Strategic communication scholars have concluded that mining communities are impoverished societies. The dominant scholarship in strategic communication is European based and there is a dearth of scholarship from Africa to contribute to the debate, which prompted the researcher to study a mining company from a developing nation like Zimbabwe. The study uses constructivism philosophy and interpretivist research theory, which are subjected to a qualitative case study of the Unki mine and the Rietfontein community. Interviews, focus group discussions and documentaries were used, as well as strategic communication and stakeholder theory. The findings of the study indicate that Unki mine has implemented Social Performance Initiative (SPI) programmes at Rietfontein that address the global sustainability expectations contained in the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), as well as the Sustainability Development Goals (SDGs). Diverse strategic communication approaches, such as bottom-up, top-down, the issues approach, the Public-Private Partnership Model and the philanthropic approach, are used to engage the community for sustainability and stakeholder relationships.



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