The control and ownership of South Africa’s mineral resources has been at the centre of many heated discussions. Academia, business and unions are meeting this week at the Ninth International Mining History Congress (IMHC) conference co-hosted by Wits to bring objectivity to the raging debate. The conference takes place from the 17th to the 20th of April 2012.
The Deputy President, Kgalema Motlanthe opened the conference on Tuesday, 17 April 2012, and was joined by Dr Xolani Mkhwanazi, President of the Chamber of Mines and Mr Senzeni Zokwana, President of the National Union of Mine Workers.
This is the first time that the IMHC has met in Africa.
Scholarly papers focus on Small Scale Mining, Women in Mining, the Mining Industry and Social Responsibility, Mining Archaeology, Entrepreneurs in Mining, Workers' Resistance in Mining, Safety, and Conservation and Heritage to name a few.
Prof. Peter Alexander, the South African Research Chair in Social Change said the conference will add value to the highly charged debate.
“One of the things we have to do in the debate in South Africa is to weigh up arguments, and look at experience elsewhere. As far as I can see the historical experience has not really been taken into account and we are only looking at current situations,” said Alexander.
The impact of key historical events and economic conditions also need greater consideration in the discussion.
“One has to take into account the differences between the control of mining, as with any industry in the period up until the 1970s, the way in which industries have developed in the period of Neo-liberal globalisation and the way in which these two periods differently affect the development of mining and other industries,” said Alexander.
The conference has drawn delegates from over 20 countries, who will share country evidence on the forms and impact of mining in the social, economic and political lives of their citizens.
To view the speakers’ profiles, click here.
For more information visit www.imhc.co.za