Mining Indaba delegates live it up with strippers and shooters

2014-02-16 14:00

The Africa Mining Indaba 2014 has provided a major boost to Cape Town’s economy – at one of the city’s biggest strip clubs: Mavericks.

More than 7?800 captains of industry from around the globe participated in “the world’s premier mining investment event” at the Cape Town International Convention Centre over three days last week.

In its twentieth year, the Mining Indaba is known for its widespread micro-economic spin-offs in the Mother City.

One of those spin-offs, apparently, could be seen in action as nearly-naked strippers twirled around the poles at Mavericks for delighted delegates.

A driver at Excite Taxis said Mavericks was the most popular evening haunt with delegates. “Mining Indaba is Mavericks’ busiest time. They go there from about 11pm on into the early morning hours. Usually they’d be quite merry, you know,” the driver said.

He told City Press that the conference kept taxi drivers so busy in the evenings they “barely had time for toilet breaks”.

“It really is the biggest event in Cape Town. Most guesthouses, bed and breakfast places and hotels are fully booked.”

Seductive alcoholic shooters on offer at Mavericks include “Gender Blenders” and “Hot Damns”. Cover charge is R100 and a private “VIP Fantasy Dance” goes for R1?000 for 15 minutes.

Down the road at trendy cocktail lounge Cubana in Green Point, a waiter said Glenfiddich whisky had been a hit with well-heeled indaba revellers at R2?160 a bottle.

Local delegates may well have been drowning their sorrows after American economist David Hale, speaking about economic growth at the conference, said: “Nigeria now represents the future, and South Africa the past.”

The Mining Indaba has elicited some criticism, and one columnist describing it as a “paid holiday” for attendants.

Last Thursday, Songezo Zibi wrote in Business Day: “The Indaba has carried on for far too long, has achieved little to nothing and its format and relevance need serious re-evaluation.”

A Mavericks manager identified as “Tim” refused to comment.

Mavericks came under the spotlight in a fight over stripper work permits and living conditions two years ago. Most of the women working at the club are foreign. Judge Siraj Desai referred the matter to the SA Human Rights Commission.

Owner Shane Harrison, who grew up in Cape Town’s leafy Southern Suburbs, markets Mavericks as “a gentlemen’s revue bar”.

But in his judgment Desai dismissed this description, saying: “In less polite language, Mavericks appears to be a ‘strip club’.” Harrison couldn’t be reached for comment.

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