EJN on the Move | News

People's Indaba shall not relent!

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By Rumbidzai M. Masango

Our Mineral Resources, Our Future!The forth session of the People’s Indaba (Alternative Mining Indaba) was held 3 - 5 February 2013 in Cape Town, South Africa parallel to the government and corporate lead 19th Mining Indaba. Delegates from over 15 countries were represented at the AMI, amongst whom were mining community members from the region, Bishops, diplomats, civil society organizations as well as faith based organizations, just to name a few.

The three day meeting deliberated the ongoing continental mining reform agenda represented by the Africa Mining Vision and its potential. Participants debated and analysed government policies and programmes for redressing environmental impacts of mining activities as well as compensation issues for communities affected by mining activities.

The meeting also provided a space for the delegates to broaden their understanding of economic and financial policies that facilitate tax avoidance and evasion in the mining sector such as transfer pricing, opaque investment contracts and bilateral investment treaties. A crucial part of the programme was to allow communities to share their experiences. Given the wake of the Marikana Massacre the AMI held a panel discussion where communities could give first had accounts of the Massacre as well as express the challenges faced after the shootings.

A bright and vibrant march yesterday saw close to 120 participants picket at the entrance of the Cape Town International Convention Center (CTICC) for over two and a half hours until the declaration was eventually received by the Janine Hills, a media adviser for the Mining Indaba. For the full declaration read by Bishop Seoka, click here.

Below see some of the media’s response to the 4th AMI:

Indaba to highlight darker side of mining
Mining Indaba protesters complain of lack of labour representation
Protesters march to Mining Indaba (Pictorial of March Procession)
Tax avoidance blamed for Africa’s loss of resource income

 

Our Mineral Resources, Our Future!

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Economic Justice Network (EJN) in collaboration with Norwegian Church Aid (NCA), BenchMarks Foundation and the International Alliance on Natural Resources in Africa (IANRA) and Southern Africa Resource Watch (SARW) have come together to host the  4th session of the Alternative Mining Indaba (AMI). The People’s Space will take place at the Strand Towers Hotel in Cape Town, South Africa – from the 3rd to the 5th of February 2013. On the 6th of February, the BenchMarks Foundation will host a Community Monitors Training at the Cape Diamond Hotel from 9am to 4pm. All participants are welcome to attend.

The meeting will be held under the theme “Our Mineral resources, Our Future – where are our benefits?” The main objective of the 4th Alternative Mining Indaba is to provide an international platform for civil society organizations (including National Christian Councils and inter faith groups) to share experiences, mobilize as well as motivate mining communities to strengthen their work on advocacy and the development of strategic tools which empower them.

It seeks to provide a space to question whether the captains of industry in the mining sector have indeed been good stewards through the way they execute business. Community concerns and incidents such as Marikana, environmental degradation, methods and consistency in payment of taxes, human rights concerns and sustainability are but a few issues which we seek to unpack during this Cape Town gathering.

The AMI 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.

The People’s Space was conceptualised in 2009 by Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) 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.

Please contact EJN as soon as possible if interested to attend. Please note there is no registration fee.

Click here for the concept note. The Draft programme is also accessible here.

For more information contact:
Economic Justice Network (EJN)
Mr. Mandla Hadebe
+27 21 424 9563/ +27 73 997 8660/ +27 74 194 2923

 

EJN still has faith in Doha

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Mandla Hadebe the EJN Programmes Manager is currently with other Southern African faith leaders representing the We Have Faith - act now for climate justice campaign in Doha, Qatar, during the climate negotiations (COP 18). As an inter-faith platform, the We Have Faith statements reminds us the ‘In all of our religions is the notion of responsibility – the responsibility to our Creator, to each other, to other species, and to the ultimate truth which is the foundation of our salvation and enlightenment.’ For the full statement and demands click here .

 

ESSET Trains informal traders from the SADC region

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The Ecumenical Service for Socio Economic Transformation (ESSET) organised a SADC regional meeting on ICBT. The meeting was used to pilot the training materials that ESSET formulated from their consultations and engagements with traders. About 30 traders from Swaziland, Lesotho, Zimbabwe, Zambia and South Africa attended the meeting. A training manual was piloted and the traders made inputs on its contents. The second part of the meeting was used to assist traders to develop strategies of strengthening their associations on national and regional levels.

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