Committee Members, through the Chairperson, deliberated on the Budgetary Review and Recommendations Report citing the need for some amendments. The Committee made some recommendations to the draft BRRR. These recommendations included the need for the Department of Mines to come up with informative reports the motivation being to ensure transparency and that information is accessible.
Members raised concern on illegal mining citing the need to escalate the fight against illegal mining, as the recommendations previously proposed for the fight against illegal mining be taken seriously. Some of the recommendations were to ensure training of senior management to enhance skills development and proper administration and to ensure that communities in mining areas benefit from the mining activities done.
The Chairperson received apologies from Mr J Malema (EFF), Ms N Mdaka (ANC), Ms M Mafolo (ANC), Adv H Schimdt (DA), Mr M Mtala, Mr J Esterhuizen (IFP). The Chairperson said although the Members present did not constitute a quorum the Committee was going to proceed given it was a deliberation of a draft BRRR which was yet to be adopted.
The Chairperson asked the Members present to be at liberty to express their views citing that there was room for amending the draft BRRR or even starting afresh if Members felt it was necessary.
Mr J Lorimer (DA) citing a statement from the draft that the mining industry had grown, he said the statement was not a completely accurate statement. He said employment in the sector had gone down as well as the value of mining capitalisation.
The Chairperson replied that although this was the case, one had to acknowledge the challenge that had emerged but not dismiss that the mining sector had grown citing the 71% as a mark of growth.
Mr Lorimer raised concern on the need to increase funds to cater for health and safety issues in particular. He said the Health and Safety had been reportedly doing well and He was concerned with social labour plans or environmental compliance. He asked if more inspectors could be including in the wording of the phrase to cater for other areas.
The Chairperson replied that he was in agreement with Mr Lorimer’s sentiments. He said there was need to include other inspectors than raising Health and Safety inspectors as more important than others. There was need to highlight the key critical areas that needed address urgently than others.
Mr Lorimer asked if there could be some recommendations included citing the deliberation on social labour. To recommend the DMR to provide access information
The Chairperson replied that a second recommendation would be to devise a strategy for information dissemination. The motivation was to ensure that all processes were transparent and accessible
Mr S Jafta (AIC) asked if there could be intervention done to raise awareness on illegal miners in South Africa given that many of the illegal miners were from neighbouring countries namely Mozambique , Lesotho and Zimbabwe.
Mr Lorimer replied that there were two people who come to South Africa, the first being those aware of the dangers in illegal mining and the second being those who were tricked into coming to South Africa with the promise of a job, with the second category there will be need to raise awareness on radios in Zimbabwe or Lesotho.
The Chairperson replied that the recommendations would be to escalate the fight against illegal mining beyond SA borders. He said the motivation could be highlighting that illegal mining poses threat to the economy, crime prevention strategy, the difficult is on allocating the timeframe.
The Chairperson raised concern on the need to introduce workshop to improve skills capacity for the senior management on issues relating to the disadvantaged. He said that there has to be a strategy to provide awareness on turnaround time. He said there was over reliance on turnaround time than individual proactive.
Mr Jafta asked if there could be a strategy to ensure compliance and effective assessment through performance contracts
Mr Lorimer agreed with Mr Jafta and asked if the department could produce a Best Practice Template to ensure the community could benefit from the mining companies in their area. He highlighted the platform industry as one successful example where the community had benefited from the mining in the area.
Mr I Pikinini (ANC) agreed with Mr Lorimer’s sentiments on senior management workshop. He said the workshop were necessary not only for compliance but on knowhow of proper administration.
The Chairperson replied that the Committee ensure training of senior management and also recommend that there is need for improvement in turnaround time. He said that consideration be made on performance contracts. He said part of the Committee responsibility was to ensure capacity building in communities and go beyond awareness to exploration their resources.
Mr Lorimer said rather than participation could there be a way to guarantee community beneficiary
The Chairperson said it would be amiss for the meeting to close without acknowledging the work of the Minister and his team. He acknowledged the work of government workers for going an extra mile in serving the government
The meeting was adjourned.
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