Monday, 12 October 2015

Archbishop hosts mining industry discussions

Representatives of the South African mining sector, civil society and faith communities met at my invitation at Bishopscourt on October 9 in Cape Town to discuss the future of the industry in South Africa. 

The meeting, which we called a "Day of Courageous Conversations", was the first step in South Africa along a journey which began at the Vatican two years ago, when the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace hosted a Day of Reflection in September 2013. It continued with an Ecumenical Day of Reflection at Lambeth Palace in London, hosted by the Archbishop of Canterbury and the President of the British Methodist Conference, and more recently another Day of Reflection at the Vatican. 

In this process, mining industry leaders are seeking to reposition the sector as one that can be a partner for long-term sustainable development with host communities and governments. A key outcome of the global-level discussions held so far has been a recognition that the dialogue needs to be replicated at a local level in regions and countries where mining is an integral part of the socio-economic fabric. 

To begin the conversations in South Africa, I agreed to host today's meeting and to invite leaders from the mining industry – including both management and labour – to join representatives from the faith communities, civil society and government for a day of conversations. 

About 60 participants were encouraged to share their perspectives and to hear those of others about what is needed to chart a different way forward for how the mining industry contributes to South Africa’s future. 

We shared a commitment to seek collaborative solutions to the problems which threaten the sustainability of mining and the communities in which mines operate. I have every hope that the process which today's discussion initiates will lead to action to develop creative new models of working constructively together.

Read the Archbishop's opening remarks at the Conversations >>

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for your feedback! Archbishop Thabo