Zwane: future of South Africa’s mining is bright

first_imgMinister Zwane to open Mining Indaba 2016 https://t.co/dvHYV5TuIZ via @Mineweb pic.twitter.com/hkba1upiGW— Moneyweb News (@Moneyweb) February 2, 2016Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane was part of a discussion panel at a New Age Business Breakfast held in Sandton on 5 February. The event’s theme was “Revival of the mining sector, its business viability and ensuring job security”.Mineral Resources Discussion underway #TNABizBrief with Minister Zwane, Acting DG Msiza and Analyst Clive @DMR_SA pic.twitter.com/sVT3BkSd9G— Karabo (@Iam_KaraboDark) February 5, 2016The panel included David Msiza, the acting director-general in the Department of Mineral Resources, and investment specialist Clive Ramathibela-Smith. Also in attendance were industry players, government officials and other stakeholders, including Eskom chief executive Brian Molefe.Zwane kicked off the discussion with an admission that 2016 was going to be a challenging year for the mining sector: “This year is not only a time to talk but also for action to push the industry forward.”Msiza added that there were several short- and long-term plans to enable this progress, most vitally addressing mining job losses. “We have formulated a declaration on saving jobs in mining that will have to be implemented this year. Transformation as well as health and safety are also very important to the sector.”Unpacking these important issues during his first five months as minister, Zwane said he had met with several chief executives of primary right holder companies. The meetings had been held to address the lack of progress in the ideals of the Mining Charter, in essence the 26% black ownership goal.According to the minister, all parties wanted to solve this issue amicably, without the need for legal steps, as had been reported in the media, because all parties fully believed in the principles of the charter. He insisted that this was not a compromise on the government’s stance on black empowerment, but something that needed to fit all the stakeholders concerned.“I have also sat down with overseas stakeholders in order to stop predicted job losses. I am happy to say that these discussions managed to save 3 000 jobs in the sector this year.”This was a good step on which to start off the Mining Indaba, Zwane said, with several African governments and private sector players involved in mapping out a constructive way forward for the industry, or as he called it: “reviving the industry to its full potential and ensuring obstacles are removed to address concerns of all stakeholders involved”.All his discussions were fruitful and the parties concerned welcomed his open-door policy regarding labour disputes, including resolving issues with Section 54 mine stoppage notices that had affected productivity during 2015.The panel moderator, SABC’s Peter Ndoro, asked the acting director-general about one of the prominent issues in the sector, particularly when it came to ongoing labour negotiations: the sometimes opaque policy. When do stakeholders get full clarity on mining policies in South Africa, he asked?Msiza reiterated the belief that collaboration was key: “Each stakeholder might have different views on things like policy legislation and labour disputes, but in the end, we all have the same objective, which is the sustainability of the mining sector and that the right people benefit from the industry.”Ongoing negotiations and amendments around the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act and open discussions at events such as the Mining Indaba went a long way to addressing challenges and gaining clarity on what mining in South Africa was and what it should be for all its stakeholders.Further highlightsSelected quotes#Zwane #TNABizBrief the period we are in needs cool heads and proper leadership. We must be responsible in dealing with issues.— Dept Minerals RSA (@DMR_SA) February 5, 2016#Zwane #TNABizBrief the issue of job losses is a sensitive one and we plead with all parties to handle it as such.— Dept Minerals RSA (@DMR_SA) February 5, 2016#Zwane #TNABizBrief the future of mining is bright, we have R50 trillion worth of reserves.— Dept Minerals RSA (@DMR_SA) February 5, 2016#TNABizBrief Zwane says there’s light at the end of the tunnel – our economy will recover but we need to be responsible and work together— The_New_Age (@The_New_Age) February 5, 2016Source: SABC Digital Newslast_img

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