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