Calls for inclusion & engagement as So. Africa hosts Investing in Mining Indaba

Protesters at the African Mining Indaba

As Africa’s top mining CEOs prepare to address thousands of industry professionals at the Investing in African Mining Indaba, NGOs have called for human rights protections to safeguard communities, workers, and investments.

The Indaba runs 9-12 February 2015. The Alternative Mining Indaba runs alongside, providing an international platform for civil society organizations.

Business & Human Rights Resource Centre has released a briefing note on southern African mining to conincide with the Indabas. The briefing note argues that better respect for human rights in mining is key to protecting investments, and easing tension with communities and workers in southern Africa.

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3 March 2015

So. African think tank's reflections on its participation in 2015 Mining Indaba and CSO equivalent

Author: O. Bello, A. Benkenstein, R. Chevallier, R. Harvey, L. Nongalaza & B. Siyobi, South African Institute for International Affairs

'SAIIA at 2015 Mining Indaba', 3 March 2015:…[T]he industry-led African Mining Indaba and…Civil Society…counterpart, the Alternative Mining Indaba (AMI), take place in Cape Town every February. In 2015, SAIIA…continued with its efforts to…build a bridge across the Indaba[s]…[by hosting] two…stakeholder engagements…involving government, corporate and community participants…[One] focused on environmental governance of the extractive industries in South Africa...Four expert speakers addressed the need…to ensure that mining did indeed produce genuine social benefits…Speakers revealed that a large proportion of mining projects are delayed primarily due to social and environmental opposition…[The] second…event – the SAIIA Changemakers Forum…facilitate[d] engagement among key stakeholders…to reflect together on critical blockages to extractive sector transformation and explore prospective joint undertakings to provide needed solutions…[and] generate…concrete outcomes to inform regional and continental level governance initiatives for the extractive sector, such as the African Union's Agenda 2063 and the Africa Mining Vision…

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25 February 2015

African NGOs urge action on mining firms & taxation/illicit financial flows, transparency, environmental, gender & community impacts, access to remedy, labour rights

Author: Alternative Mining Indaba

Declaration of the 6th Alternative Mining Indaba: “Making Natural Resources Work for the People”, 12 Feb 2015

We, the representatives of over 300 members of Civil Society Organisations; Faith Based Organisations, Pan-African Networks and Organisations, Labour Movements, media, international partners and Community Based upon all African governments to...make citizen-centred decisions about the investment of natural resources.

[Calls for action by govts. & companies on: Taxation and Illicit Financial Flows, Transparency and Accountability, Environmental rights and community monitoring, Access to Remedy, Artisanal Mining, Women & Extractives, Mining, Health and Labour]

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20 February 2015

After the Indabas: where next for southern African mining and human rights?

Author: Khanya Mncwabe in Mail & Guardian (So. Africa)

'Mining for goodwill reaps profits', 20 Feb 2015: Africa’s top mining…executives met…at the Investing in African Mining Indaba…last week…[J]ust a few kilometres away…hundreds of civil society activists who could not afford the almost $2 000 admission fee convened the Alternative Mining Indaba to grapple with concerns about the mining sector’s negative impact on human rights… Better relationships with communities and workers could have mitigated, or even avoided, the harm caused in these…and…other…[cases] highlighted in the Business and Human Rights Resource Centre’s latest briefing note on mining in Southern Africa. To manage these risks coherently and better respect human rights, mining companies should move beyond just adopting human rights policies and…“mainstream” respect for human rights. In Southern Africa, three areas are key to this: transparency, [responsible] engagement and respect for communities’ and workers’ rights to health and safety…


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10 February 2015

Alternative indaba empowers communities [So. Africa]

Author: Banele Ginindza, Business Report (So. Africa)

The thrust of this year’s Alternative Mining Indaba, or AMI2015, that of helping mining communities take up the fight against transgressing mining companies. Participants in the conference are helping mining communities...including [by] teaching them to test water quality and measure air pollution...[and] hold mining companies true to promises when it comes to employment... [The AMI has] over 300 delegates this year... David van Wyk [of]...Benchmarks rights should stay with the communities... Christopher Rutledge [of]...ActionAid...said: “Change can only come about with the input of the people affected...” Mpumalanga activist Rain Sikhosana recounted how a community member had brought a bottle of drinking water containing thick coal sediment... Open Society Foundation [staffer] Jeggan Grey-Johnson said the most culpable organisation exploiting mining communities was the AU...

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10 February 2015

Mining Indaba: The two conflicting agendas

Author: Chris Musiime, Oil in Uganda

Two very important events opened simultaneously yesterday in Cape Town, South Africa: One is Africa’s biggest and most attended meeting on mining, the Invest in Africa Mining Indaba...[with over] seven thousand mining industry executives, government officials and business people... The other is the Alternative Mining Indaba-civil society’s response to the Mining Indaba... The business executives...would like to ‘help’ build African economies...but the activists argue that their communities are getting nothing... They want to see “natural resources work for the people” and some are even calling for mining operations to cease completely if that cannot happen. “These companies are in Cape Town to discuss how to extract minerals to benefit a few. It is about profit, not the people,” said Rev. Malcolm Damon..., the chief organiser of the AMI...

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8 February 2015

Alternative Mining Indaba calls for inclusion of communities

Author: Bishop Jo Seoka, chairperson of Bench Marks Foundation, in City Press (So. Africa)

Change in mining is needed now or we risk environmental and economic devastation. It is time for civil society and communities to be meaningfully included in the Mining Indaba and to have at least a 50% representation at the meeting... We fail to recognise that we need a more equitable sharing of wealth. We talk about growth but ignore what is really needed: an economy built on redistribution. Imagine a mining community where workers are paid a decent living wage and communities are compensated adequately for mining on their land – this should not be a dream, this should be reality... We are concerned that communities continue to be marginalised in matters affecting their own lives. In South Africa for example, communities are excluded from being participants in Social and Labour Plans...For us, Free Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC), is not a once-off process...

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6 February 2015

NGO report examines the human rights impacts of southern Africa’s extractive sector

Author: Business & Human Rights Resource Centre

'Business unusual: Mining in the aftermath of Marikana - the human rights impacts of southern Africa’s extractive sector', Feb 2015: Mining is central to the economies of southern Africa…But there is so much more that this wealth-generating industry could be doing with the right policies, incentives and regulation. As government officials, mining executives and civil society prepare for the annual Investing in African Mining Indaba (Cape Town, 9-12 February), this briefing [by Business & Human Rights Resource Centre] deliberately focuses on challenges to the industry…What lessons can companies learn, what best practices can they emulate to protect and promote human rights, and to mitigate the risks they face, such as opposition from communities, labour unrest, stricter regulatory environments, adverse court decisions and reputational damage?...
[refers to Anglo American, AngloGold Ashanti, Anhui Foreign Economic Construction, ArcelorMittal, Collum Coal Mining, De Beers, ENRC, Glencore, Gold Fields, Harmony Gold, Impala Platinum, Konkola Copper Mines (joint venture Vedanta Resources, Zambia Copper Investments & ZCCM Investments), Lonmin, New Reclamation, Och-Ziff Capital Management, Palladino Holdings, Rio Tinto, Vale, Vedanta Resources, Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation (ZMDC)]

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