'Mining companies not making an impact'
Bishop Jo Seoka says corporate social investment should benefit poor communities.
CAPE TOWN - The chairperson of the Bench Marks Foundation on Monday said some mining companies are not making a meaningful impact through corporate social investment.
Bishop Jo Seoka was speaking at the Alternative Mining Indaba in Cape Town.
The religious leader took a leading role in bringing an end to the wage strike at Lonmin's Marikana mine.
At least 34 miners were gunned down during a confrontation with police in the North West mining town on August 16.
Civil groups, activists and non-government organisations attended Monday's conference.
Delegates opened the indaba with a song about Marikana.
Seoka said companies, through corporate social investment, should be improving the lives of poor communities.
"The reflection on the balance sheet is huge investments, yet when you actually engage with the people, there is very little that benefits those communities."
Seoka said the same was true for Lonmin.
"The place was filthy and there were no proper constructed roads."
The Alternative Mining Conference aims to find new ways to improve the industry.
The foundation called on social activists to think about strategic ways to improve the mining sector.
Mining companies and government are participating in a separate indaba in Cape Town.
Bench Marks Foundation Executive Director John Capel said, "The aim of this gathering is to challenge the main mining indaba. We want them to consider their social responsibilities, to consider developmental issues and to consider how mining can benefit the economies of all African nations."