The Chamber of Mines has issued an official statement on the various pronouncements made by Mineral Resources Minister Advocate Ngoako Ramatlhodi in his maiden Budget Vote speech in parliament yesterday.

“The sector welcomes the announcement on the establishment of an inter-ministerial committee that will deal with regulations giving effect to the MPRD Amendment Bill as passed by Parliament earlier in the year, which the Chamber of Mines supported. In as far as the Minister’s pronouncements on consultation on these regulations, the Chamber is indeed looking forward to contributing constructively to the process.

“Pronouncements on the Mine Health and Safety Amendment Act are noted, and the sector hopes that the robust interaction undertaken during the amendment of the MPRDA will ensue again. Chamber member companies take safety and health very seriously and hope that the tripartite partnership that has yielded gains in this area will underpin the amendments.”

Expansion, development of SA mining

The Chamber said it “encourages the expansion and development of the South African mining industry. To this end, the Chamber is encouraged by the concerted effort to address legislative issues related to petroleum and shale gas mining.”

The pronouncements on skills development are “welcome as the sector seeks to address the legacies of the past and ensuring that new entry workers within the sector have multiple skills thus giving them labour market versatility. Chamber member companies have demonstrated, through their allocation of substantive budget on training, that they are committed to the Human Resource Development requirement of the Charter and beyond.”

Mining Charter

Through the Mining Consultative Forum now led by President Jacob Zuma, the Chamber has made significant contributions to issues around addressing living conditions of mineworkers. To this end, members remain committed to ensuring that compliance is achieved and will contribute to public private partnerships to address human settlement needs in host communities.

“It is indeed encouraging that the Minister during his media briefing highlighted the housing development wherein the provincial and local government in partnership with Lonmin was launched last week. This is a clear demonstration when we work concertedly as partners results are realised urgently”, said Mike Teke, President of the Chamber of Mines.

Compliance with Mining Charter

The Chamber notes the Minister’s re-iteration of the need for the sector to comply with the Mining Charter and the stern warning on non-compliance. The Chamber believes that the sector has achieved commendable progress but can do much more taking into cognisance the challenges faced by the country.

“We remain committed to the objects of the Charter and we indeed note the pronouncements on issues of ownership,” said Bheki Sibiya, Chief Executive of the Chamber of Mines.

Stability and contribution

The Chamber is extremely encouraged by the acknowledgement by the Minister that the sector’s stability can only be realised by a “conducive environment”. The specific reference to the platinum strike is a call for all stakeholders to indeed heed the call for greater introspection as solutions are sought to avoid such a strike in the future.

“As the Chamber we look forward to participating in the Mining Summit, and we hope the already established Mining Lekgotla due to be hosted on 13 to 14 August jointly with the department and our labour partners will serve as a starting point for such introspection,” added Teke.