File image: IOL

CAPE TOWN - Civil society organisations, government representatives, community members and private sector representatives are converging in Cape Town for the 9th annual Alternative Mining Indaba from February 05 to 07, 2018.

The Indaba will be proceeding concurrently to Africa Mining Indaba to hosted in the Mother City between 07 and 09 February. 

The AMI organising committee, the Economic Justice Network (EJN) of the Fellowship of Christian Councils in Southern Africa (FOCCISA) will be hosting the event under the theme: Making Natural Resources Work for the People: Towards Just Legal, Policy and Institutional Reforms. 

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According to a statement issued on behalf of the Indaba, the program sees a range of speakers from all over the world: government representatives, civil society, the private sector and community members to share experiences, as well as mobilise and motivate mining-affected and impacted communities to strengthen their work on advocacy. This will result in the development of strategic tools which empower them in the long run.

"AMI is also viewed as the first platform for the continent, where community voices are given space to air their views on an international platform. This based on issues that directly impact on them," the statement read.

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Reverend Malcolm Damon, the executive director of the Economic Justice Network believes that mining companies who exploit minerals and disregard communities’ rights need to be held accountable. "The finite natural resources of the earth are being depleted at an alarming rate. For this reason, the focus of the Alternative Mining Indaba is on community rights and accountable governance," he added.

"We will continue to demand an equitable distribution of national resources and tax justice, that communities rights are restored, and that human dignity and meaningful existence be guiding principles. Sustainable mining that incorporates community needs, restoration of the environment, and just practices are central to the AMI and its input to the Mining Indaba". the statement further read.

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