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Politics and ex-miners issues included on Mining Indaba agenda

By Ntombi Mhlongo

Politics and issues of ex-miners in the Southern Africa region are on the agenda of the ongoing African Mining Indaba taking place in Cape Town, South Africa.

The SADC region has over 500 000 ex-miners most of whom worked in neighbouring South Africa. These include emaSwati. Representing the region at the conference is the Regional Coordinator of the Southern African Miners Association, Vama Jele who is also the Executive Secretary of the Swaziland Migrant Mineworkers Association (SWAMMIWA).

In an interview, he mentioned that there have been engagements in closed meetings on the politics around issues of ex-miners in the region including policy-making and service delivery.

“The Mining Indaba is the best platform to bring ministers and government officials to talk on issues as they have the space to breath breathe from their country schedules and meetings,” Jele said.

Besides the issues around ex-miners, he said they also held meetings to discuss issues of climate change and green energy transition plus sustainable mining.

Meanwhile, stability, security, and supply of minerals on the continent came under the spotlight when the annual ‘Investing in African Mining Indaba’ kicked off in Cape Town

South Africa’s Freight News reported that opening the conference, Frans Baleni, Chair of the Indaba’s advisory board, said mining was taking place amidst many challenges – not only in Africa but around the world.

“We are gathered here while the world is still grappling with the after-effects of the global pandemic. Food and labour supply challenges are being felt all around the world, while debt and the energy crisis, climate change as well as geopolitical conflicts add to the crisis,” the media platform quoted Baleni.

He said it was important to find unified and creative ways of addressing these challenges, citing the Indaba as an ideal platform to do this. But Baleni is also reported to have emphasised that to draw investment to
Africa, the continent needed to showcase its stability as an investment destination.

“When it comes to security, governments and investors need to be at the forefront of cultivating civic engagement to minimise conflicts associated with greenfield projects on the continent, while we need to ensure little to no disruption in the supply of minerals to the market.”

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