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Mines blamed for land and livelihood destruction

By Athenkosi Sawutana

Activists from the Alternative Mining Indaba (AMI) presented their memorandum of demands to the mining fraternity during their annual Investing in African Mining Indaba at the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC) on Wednesday.

The AMI said the mining activities leave communities suffering externalities, such as land and livelihood destruction, severe health impacts, along with water and air pollution.

AMI activist, Rev. Frederic Shoo, read the memorandum to the crowd, “The days of affluence ruling over human beings are numbered. People will take their rightful place at the centre of development, living side-by-side in an environment that is not wasteful of water, plants, or animal life.”

The movement‘s spokesperson, Moreblessing Chidaushenca, called on all the stakeholders to come together and discuss solutions to ensure everyone benefits from these resources.

“We are not coming to fight but to say let us discuss and find a sustainable way forward so that all can benefit because it is the people’s resources,” said Chidaushenca.

The memorandum was received by officials from the Chamber of Mines, the African Union Commission (AUC), and the Department of Minerals and Energy.

Paul Msoma, a representative of the AUC, said that most of the issues raised by the AMI are already captured in the African Minerals Governance Framework, and Namibia will be the first country to use the framework.

He explained that the Mining Indaba also believes in including different voices.

"We know that through engagements in the mining industry and to deliver a sustainable future for everyone, the Mining Indaba itself believes in bringing together all stakeholders. Only by doing this can we ensure all views considered are not driven by one parts agenda," said Msoma.

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