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Transformation slow in mining sector

Pretoria – The majority of companies in South Africa’s vast mining sector have not met their transformation responsibilities in the ten years to 2014, Mineral Resources Minister Ngoako Ramatlhodi said on Tuesday.

Releasing an interim report into the mining sector’s compliance with the Mining Charter, Ramatlhodi told reporters in Pretoria that there was no agreement on the transformation levels in ownership and that the courts were asked intervene.

“There is no consensus on the applicable principle and the courts are being approached to resolve the matter on an urgent basis,” said Ramatlhodi.

He said the Supreme Court would have to make a ruling on the matter.

Regarding housing and living conditions, Ramatlhodi said 63 percent of mining rights holders with hostels had converted to either family and/or single units.

“The drive to improve the living standards of the mineworkers has not been fully realised. More needs to be done to address the broader objective of ensuring that mineworkers live in decent accommodation,” he said.

Ramatlhodi said only 36.8 percent of companies have met the target of spending five percent of their total annual payroll on training.

On mining communities development, Ramatlhodi said only 47 percent of the mining companies’ projects are between 75 and 100 percent complete.

Regarding procurement and enterprise development, Ramatlhodi said 42 percent of companies met the target of procuring capital goods from historically disadvantaged South Africans.

“A total of 33 percent met the target of procuring services from historically disadvantaged South Africans and 62 percent companies met the target of procuring consumables from the historically disadvantaged South Africans,” he added.

He said his department would be moving in to strengthen the efficacy of the Mining Charter through a review process to accelerate the transformation imperative in the mining sector. It was hoped this would create a conducive environment for the sustainable growth of the sector.

“Government values the contribution of the mining industry to the South African economy. However, we expect the investors in the industry to behave in a responsible manner, and to abide by the laws and policies of the country,” said Ramatlhodi.

“From the statistics, it is clear that there is still some way to go before we can truly transform the industry, and fully realise the objectives set out in the Charter and the MPRDA (Minerals and Petroleum Resources Development Act). We appeal to the industry and labour to continue to work with us.”

The Charter was adopted in 2004. It was amended in 2010 with a revised scorecard to strengthen and sharpen its efficacy in driving transformation and competitiveness in the mining sector.

The Mining Charter attaches conditions to which mining right-holders are expected to comply with in terms of the MPRDA.

Source: IOL

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