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8 Feb 2015

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

Alternative Mining Indaba calls for inclusion of communities

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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...