New tool for transparency in extractives

New tool for transparency in extractives

With debate focused on South Africa’s revised Mining Charter, we announced the launch of #MineAlert – a new interactive tool that promotes knowledge sharing and accountability in the extractive sector

minealert-widget-screenshot

Inadequate regulation of mining, and negligible compliance monitoring and enforcement, have significant negative impacts on the environment and on communities in South Africa. Many of these impacts cannot be remedied, and will continue to impose heavy financial, health and environmental costs on society for the foreseeable future.

Participation by citizens in monitoring mines has become increasingly pressing with the growth of coal and uranium mining, as well as the spectre of large-scale mining for shale gas, or fracking, in sensitive and water-scarce ecosystems.

South Africa’s draft new Mining Charter, gazetted on April 15 2016, re-focused attention on these issues because it is silent about the “polluter pays” principle. It does not include goals for water consumption and destruction by mines, nor provisions for mine closure. Grievance mechanisms for local communities, their right to say no to mining and easy access to relevant expertise are also absent.

#MineAlert is a new age, digital solution to facilitate transparency and compliance monitoring in the mining sector.

• #MineAlert is a citizen-focused website and mobile app that alerts users to mining activities in their back yard, and other regions they care about;
• #MineAlert provides users with location-based updates about mining applications, as well as associated water use licences, environmental authorisations and social & labour plans;
• #MineAlert encourages active citizenry, by providing users with tools to share information, and to engage with the public review and policy formation processes.
• #MineAlert encourages greater transparency in the mining sector, by enabling users to connect with citizen or watchdog groups to share information about mining processes in their region.

The new app aims to promote public- and private-sector accountability in the mining sector, to advance civil society and socio-economic rights, to protect the free flow of information, and to strengthen justice and equality.

Find out how to access, track and share information on #MineAlert here.

#MineAlert is a project of Oxpeckers Investigative Environmental Journalism, supported by Open Society Foundation for South Africa and developed by ScienceLink.

Oxpeckers Reporters
figav@mweb.co.za