Delegates at the Mining Indaba believe that it is imperative to grow economies first in mining communities as that will translate in economic growth for nations and the continent.
An estimated 7,000 delegates from 90 countries are in Cape Town for the Investing in African Mining Indaba which started on Monday.
The investment conference brings together investors from all over the world to discuss the mining sector in Africa
Brown Motsau who is the Chairperson – Alternative Mining Indaba said although he agrees on the importance of the Investing in African Mining Indaba, he believes that there has to be an acknowledgement that mines were built on the back of cheap labour in South Africa.
“The reality is that as much as this conference is very important, there are other issues that shouldn’t be excluded. The economic life should start with communities; there is no point in having economic growth while communities that host these mining companies are suffering. Mining should be done better.”
However, while the main event takes place, civil society groups hosted their own Alternative Mining Indaba which is aimed at focusing on environmental and social issues.
Bongani Bingwa chats to Minerals Council South Africa public affairs and transformation senior executive Tebello Chabana and Alternative Mining Indaba chairperson Brown Motsau to shed light on the two conferences happening simultaneously.
“The Investing in African Mining Indaba is an important platform to discuss key issues like sustainability and improving junior miners,” said Tebello Chabana, Public affairs and transformation senior executive – Minerals Council South Africa
He says even though the debates are important, the Investing in African Mining Indaba is an opportunity for South African mining to position itself firmly in the industry.
“This is an Investing in African Mining Indaba and it will discuss continental issues and not just South African mining issues. It gives various stakeholders a platform to discuss what is important with the business of mining.”