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Yes, the Mining Indaba is the ultimate networking opportunity. The presentations were alright, but considered by many of the delegates as a sideshow. These businessmen came to Cape Town suited-and-tied to rub shoulders and seal deals in lobbies, restaurants, hotels and winefarms around the "main" conference venue.

 

The same was true for civil society participation. It seemed that the organisers' idea was to "channel" civil society into the CSR Day. Even though participation at the rest of the Indaba was open (in theory), most civil society organisations couldn't afford the entrance fee. (Note to the powers that be: a special rate for non-profits?). So what did they do? Well, attend the free CSR Day, of course, and then organise an AlterNative Mining Indaba on the side. Here's a short newspaper article about the event: http://www.iol.co.za/business/business-news/protesters-say-no-to-resource-curse-1.1024530

 

A final comment on the CSR Day: as important as CSR is, it is by no means the only or even the most important issue of concern to civil society (as for companies, I suspect). Just putting it out there...

 

Any other GOXIans that attended the Indaba or the AlterNative Indaba? Would like to hear your views.