Journal of Business Ethics

, Volume 120, Issue 1, pp 39–63 | Cite as

‘Cursed’ Communities? Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), Company Towns and the Mining Industry in Namibia



This article examines Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and mining community development, sustainability and viability. These issues are considered focussing on current and former company-owned mining towns in Namibia. Historically company towns have been a feature of mining activity in Namibia. However, the fate of such towns upon mine closure has been and remains controversial. Declining former mining communities and even ghost mining towns can be found across the country. This article draws upon research undertaken in Namibia and considers these issues with reference to three case study communities. This article examines the complexities which surround decision-making about these communities, and the challenges faced in efforts to encourage their sustainability after mining. In this article, mine company engagements through CSR with the development, sustainability and viability of such communities are also critically discussed. The role, responsibilities, and actions of the state in relation to these communities are furthermore reflected upon. Finally, ways forward for these communities are considered.


Company towns Corporate Social Responsibility Mining Namibia Sustainable development 



Consolidated Diamond Mines


Community Sustainable Development Project


Corporate Social Responsibility


Education and Training Sector Improvement Programme


International Council on Mining and Metals


Long Distance Commuting


Mine Closure Framework


Mining Minerals and Sustainable Development


Non-Governmental Organisation


Whole School Development Project


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Queen’s University Belfast Management SchoolQueen’s University BelfastBelfastNorthern Ireland, UK

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