Churches leading the charge for mining reform

Niël Terblanché

The Council of Churches in Namibia (CCN) has embarked on an impassioned crusade for substantial reforms within the mining and extractive sector.

The CCN’s Alternative Mining Indaba in Windhoek, under the compelling theme “Increasing benefits from mining and extractive industries to address socio-economic development challenges,” is the latest effort to ignite a conversation on “tax justice” and enforceable corporate social responsibilities.

The Indaba, a clear response to the Ministry’s assurance of ethical stewardship over Namibia’s natural resources, is positioning itself as a pivotal forum for debate and advocacy for responsible mining that benefits all stakeholders.

The CCN, alongside the Legal Assistance Centre, has unveiled findings from comprehensive public consultations that highlight the urgent need for sustainable mining practices.

The issues range from environmentally detrimental mining activities to the marginalization of communities in vital decision-making processes.

The CCN insists on the necessity of industry reform, underlining that profitability cannot come at the cost of environmental integrity and social equity.

Prominent voices like Mandla Hadebe from the Economic Justice Network of Southern Africa and Pastor Ferdinand Otto, Chairperson of the CCN Executive Committee, have spoken at the Indaba.

These speakers at the Indaba have brought attention to the disconnect between mining communities and decision-makers, stressing the need for more inclusive government platforms and improved communication on pressing environmental and health issues.

Events such as the CCN’s Indaba are vital in shaping the future of Namibia’s mining landscape.

The push for reforms by religious institutions, backed by community consensus, suggests a significant shift towards more ethical and accountable management of the nation’s rich natural resources.

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