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Indaba to highlight darker side of mining

Feb 04 2013 13:07
Mining

The mining industry, the bedrock upon which the country was built, is going through something like an existential crisis. (Picture: Shutterstock) (Shutterstock)

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Cape Town - The Economic Justice Network (EJN) in collaboration with Norwegian Church Aid (NCA), BenchMarks Foundation and the International Alliance on Natural Resources in Africa (IANRA) will host the fourth Alternative Mining Indaba in Cape Town, South Africa from the 3rd to 5th February 2013 which will bring together over a 100 members of civil society, faith-based organisations, mining community members, academics and other stakeholders.

The Alternative Mining Indaba was conceptualised in 2009 by Civil Society Organisations working on Extractive Industries. The aim being to present case studies of victims of mining activities and evidence of ecological damage as a side event to the annual Mining Indaba.  

The Alternative Mining Indaba has been developed by civil society to run simultaneously with the Mining Indaba to articulate the suffering of ordinary people while corporations and governments are meeting to form partnerships and design strategies to consolidate their profits. For instance, looking at how policy instruments like the African Mining Vision are a step in the right direction to get many African countries out of the ‘resource curse’. It brings new and existing knowledge to address the challenges brought by extractive industries on local communities.

Due to its exorbitant entry fees civil society has always had difficulties accessing the Mining Indaba.

This exclusion is a calculated act to deny civil society access to a forum where key stakeholders meet to discuss policy and action around African resources. Mining companies and corporations do not acknowledge the impact of mining on communities and their exclusion from participating in the management of their resources.

The Alternative Mining Indaba raises the issues that Mining Indaba deliberately refuses to raise - the issue about poverty of communities adjacent to mining activities, the lack of adequate job creation, the environmental impact of mining activities on these communities as well as generally sustainability after mining operations end.

 

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