Studies and researches show that there is an approximately 200 languages that are native to the Indigenous Australians and 20 of these languages are still being spoken up to now in Australia (Sharp). The majority of the Indigenous Australians resides in the south east near the Murray River. Indigenous Peoples in South Africa The African region has been termed as home for the majority of indigenous peoples (Clark). North and South Africa are comprised of indigenous communities which are also divided into several subgroups.
Though hunting, gathering and pastoral means are the most basic means used by the indigenous peoples in Africa, some indigenous communities have already learned the agricultural system. As mentioned, the diverse indigenous communities in both North and South Africa are grouped not on the basis of their chronological subsistence but on the basis of their common characteristics in terms of cultural inclinations and lifestyle. Mining Operations in Australia and South Africa South Africa and Australia rank second and third respectively as the worlds top producers of gold (Indigenous Community Organisations and Miners, 2007).
While gold is the second outstanding export product of Australia, it is the biggest export product of South Africa. It is undeniable that mining in both Australia and South Africa helps the two in advancing and maintaining good economic standings. However, other issues like human rights violations have been reportedly committed because of the mining operations in South Africa and Australia. On the other hand, South Africa and Australia have different cases in terms of the developments regarding the alleviation of human rights violations through mining operations.
In Australia, the government devises a strategic approach which aims to reconcile the mining companies and the indigenous peoples (The Mining Ombudsman, 2007). As part of the Corporate Social Responsibility of the mining companies, they are obligated by the law to come up with humanitarian programs that which are directed towards the promotion of the welfare of the indigenous peoples in Australia. Mining companies conducted seminars, conferences and workshops that which enables the indigenous peoples know how mining projects operate and how could they help the indigenous peoples improve their everyday living.
Through these programs and projects, the rights of the Indigenous Australians are being upheld in such a way that they are set towards progress and development together with the mining corporations. However, in the case of the mining operations in South Africa, there is a lack of consideration given to the indigenous peoples. The mining companies in South Africa have been reportedly accused of exploiting the natural resources within the habitats of the indigenous peoples in South Africa (Communities take shine off, 2006).
Environmental degradation, displacement of the indigenous peoples from their residences, and health hazards brought about by the mining operations are among the issues raised by the indigenous communities (Communities take shine off, 2006). Their rights as people are being neglected in such way that the mining activities cause harm on their part. Many forests are deforested and the wild life is severely threatened. It is to be noted that most of the indigenous peoples in South Africa live on uplands as well as near forests.
The destruction of these forests signals the destruction of their homes too. Thus, in order to safeguard their rights for these natural resources (as their homes and source of food and others), protection and preservation of the environment should also be considered by the government as well as the mining corporations. In addition, there is also a treat to the health of the indigenous peoples caused by the toxic and other wastes products that are being secreted during mining activities (Communities take shine off, 2006).
Water contamination and lead poisoning are some of the health hazards that are caused by mining. Lastly, cultural degradation is also said to occur in indigenous communities because mining devastates certain sites which are sacred and ceremonial for the indigenous peoples. Conclusion Though, mining serves the economic growth of Australia and South Africa, it does not change the fact that it brings certain disadvantages towards the people particularly on the indigenous peoples.
The main difference between the impact of the mining operations on the indigenous communities in Australia and South Africa is that in Australia the government and the mining companies are aware of the fact that they should consider the well-being of the indigenous peoples whereas in South Africa the government and the mining corporations lacks awareness and cooperation to resolve the conflict between the indigenous peoples and the mining operations.
Works Cited Maybury-Lewis, David. Indigenous Peoples, Ethnic Groups, and the State. Second ed. Allyn and Bacon, 2001. Sharp, Anne. Indigenous Peoples of the World Australia.
First ed. Lucent Books, 2002. Clark, Domini. South Africa the People. Crabtree Publishing Company, 1999. The Mining Ombudsman. 2007. Oxfam Australia. 09 November 2007
The Australian National University. 09 November 2007