The main theme of the briefings on the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Amendment (MPRDA) Bill dealt with the impact which mining activities had on communities living near mining areas, and the fact that these mining communities lacked support to engage and consult effectively with mining rights holders.
The Mining and Environmental Justice Community Network of South Africa (MEJCON-SA), representing a network of communities throughout SA directly affected by mining operations, said the current narrative in the MPRDA stated that mining was in the national interest, and that no single community -- especially those living in areas where mining had disrupted their lives -- could influence outcomes to address the disruptions. Their main concern was that the MPRDA did not allow communities free prior and informed consent (FPIC) on mining activities and developments in their area. Lack of accessibility to documents, notices and other relevant information, like the social and labour plans (SLPs), meant that communities often did not know what was going on in their areas, and this had to be addressed. An important concern was that they did not believe the current process on the MPRDA was in line with the mandate from President Zuma, when he had referred the Bill back to the National Council of Provinces (NCOP), as it went outside that mandate, so the best approach would be scrap the the MPRDA and start afresh.
The discussion focussed on whether any communities represented by MEJCON-SA had had any land restitution claims settled, and concern that communities had to be directly involved in the drafting of SLPs in their areas. This had to be mandatory before any mining commenced.
Malan Scholes (MS) said their submission aimed to provide a different way for government to regulate the mining industry so that it was more practical and provided better outcomes for all. It involved both policy and drafting issues, the latter to provide a better understanding of the issues under discussion. An important policy issue was that they believed the Minister had overstepped the mark in the some aspects of Bill - like the Mining Charter -- as these were legislative issues that could be done only by Parliament. More information was needed to understand how the new licence award system would work, while the section on historically disadvantaged South Africans (HDSAs) and the provision of black economic empowerment (BEE) services to mining companies was problematic, as it was not clear if non-South African mine workers and communities would benefit from broad-based socio-economic empowerment. Another concern was the concept of a mine gate price for designated minerals, as price was an agreement between a customer and seller, and could not be regulated.
The Committee asked if there was anything good in the MPRDA. The response from MS was that there were several good points in the Bill, like beneficiation and the re-mining of mine dumps, but the problem was that the wording on its implementation was not clear.
The views of Sekhukhune Combined Mining Affected Communities (SCMAC) were similar to those of MEJCON-SA, especially on the ability of mining communities to meaningfully influence issues that were imposed on them by mining companies. Some of the flaws they found in the Bill were that the Minister had too much power to decide on mining issues, and it did not contain any clear assurances that allowed mining communities to engage directly and effectively with mining companies. They believed the Bill had to be scrapped and that the Committee should oversee a task team consisting of mining communities, mines, government and other role players to implement and oversee a more effective plan, to ensure that the mining communities got a better deal than what was currently in the MPRDA.
The discussion focused mainly on how to ensure that SLPs and municipal Integrated Development Plans (IDPs) were spent more effectively, in line with agreed plans.
Peta Attorneys Inc said that a key deliverable of the MPRDA was that it had to enable a globally competitive mining industry for the benefit of all South Africans. Some of its concerns dealt with the need to strengthen empowerment provisions for previously disadvantaged people who had lost their land to mining companies. It also suggested the establishment of a committee to monitor compliance by permit holders and to ensure the accuracy and consistency of information when evaluating compliance.
Black Land First (BLF) gave a rousing and at times militant anti-white overview on the concerns relating to the MPRDA insofar as it impacted on black people who still remained landless. The issue of land stolen from blacks by whites, and the domination of white monopoly capital in the mining industry, was very prominent throughout the BLF presentation. According to BLF, the problem of landless blacks was a central contradiction in South Africa, and the issue of land had to be transformed radically as matter of great urgency. It wanted the Committee to support the Mining Charter and Minister Zwane, who had the courage to implement these radical economic transformation changes. It supported land expropriation without compensation, including land where minerals occurred, and wanted these to be nationalised. Mining communities needed to have far greater say and a direct economic benefit from mining operations in their areas, with 20% community ownership of shares, and 70% of mine procurement had to be to blacks. BLF wanted illegal miners (“zama-zamas”) to be legalised and afforded greater support and help from government and the formal mining industry. It also wanted the banking sector, dominated by white monopoly capital, to be transformed as the current regime was not helpful or supportive of blacks.
Discussion with the Committee was mainly on how BLF envisaged “zama-zamas” would be regulated in order to mine legally. An ANC Member commented that there was no need for BLF to always be “fire brands” and angry in sharing their views - common respect for all of South Africa’s people was needed, and whites were part of the country, so there was no need to be disrespectful to them, as had been shown in the BLF presentation.
Bathlakoane Ba Manzimnyama (BBM), a community that had lost its land to mining operations, said its main concerns with the MPRDA were the impact of mining on communities, the continued dominance of white monopoly capital in mining, at the expense of mining communities, and a need to radically transform the mining industry to redress these imbalances.
Following the MPRDA presentations, the DMR briefed the Committee on its Budget Vote, although time constraints meant there would not be sufficient time to engage with the Department on the issues.
It said some of the important strategic objectives were:
- Transformation of the industry by increasing black ownership and participation in the industry.
- Attracting investment and growing the mining sector.
- The Departmental budget of R1.8bn for 2017/18 was not enough to ensure delivery of all departmental initiatives.
- Mine health and safety, with emphasis on a reduction in mine injuries and fatalities.
- Implementation of the shale gas action plan.
- Implementation of the Mining Charter.
Mining and Environmental Justice Community Network of South Africa (MEJCON-SA)
Mr Matome Kapa, attorney at the Centre for Environmental Rights (CER) and Co-ordinator for MEJCON-SA, led the presentation and was assisted by Mr Elton Thobejane, Deputy Chairperson: MEJCON-SA.
Mr Kapa said that MEJCON-SA represented a network of communities throughout SA which were directly affected by mining operations. They protected and defended communities affected by mining operations, and engage stakeholders on their behalf. These included government, the mining industry and traditional leaders. Communities lacked support from government and others, so they had little chance of influencing outcomes that would better their lives in negotiations with mining companies. The lost their land, their livelihoods, their health was affected, and no one was providing any support to them.
Their main submission contained seven key points which they wanted to be included in the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Amendment (MPRDA) Bill to strengthen the rights of communities affected by mining operations. These were:
- Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC). In the MPRDA, no FPIC was required, which meant that mining companies did not have to consult meaningfully with communities. If the MPRDA wanted to promote equality, then FPIC had to be included so that communities could be consulted before any mining operations commenced.
- They were concerned about the removal of the clause “women and communities,” as it was a further blow to the rights of women. It was not clear why this had been done, and the Department of Mineral Resources (DMR) had to state clearly why, and for what purpose.
- Documents and notices had to be placed in accessible public places where communities could have a better chance of seeing what was happening in their areas, and engage more effectively on issues that affected them.
- Once environmental authorisations were granted to mining companies, this information must also be available to communities.
- Broad taxation, and the benefits which flowed from there, often did not reach the communities affected by mining operations. Mining companies’ social and labour plans (SLPs) were therefore crucial to better the lives of communities. However, communities often had no idea what these plans were, so they needed to have direct access to the SLPs to enable them to monitor for themselves how the mining right holder was implementing its SLP.
- There was a concern over mining activities conducted on land, where land restitution claims were unresolved, or in process. A mechanism had to be found in the MPRDA to address this so that affected parties were not disadvantaged.
- MEJCON-SA also raised a new point, which was not in their original submission to the DMR. They did not agree with the DMR’s view that the Bill referred back by President Zuma to the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) could have additional amendments, as the Constitution did not allow for this. Their view was that the current MPRDA Bill had to be scrapped and a new process for a new amended Bill had to be started afresh.
Ms C Labushcagne (DA, Western Cape) wanted more clarity regarding their concern on FPIC, asking whether MEJCON-SA knew if any communities had successfully been incorporated in plans made by mines, as raised in their concerns. Did MEJCON-SA have any information on land restitution settlements and the impact on communities? She referred them specifically to the statistics provided by the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform (DRDLR), which indicated that 155 land claims had been lodged against mines, of which 42 had been finalised. Had any of the 42 occurred in the communities they represented?
Mr Kapa responded that, in their view, communities were generally not consulted effectively, and often agreements were reached without their consent. This was even the case in areas where traditional leaders were consulted by the mines, where benefits accrued only to the Traditional House and its families, and the broader community in the area was often not included. On the issue of land restitution claims, he said that they were aware of some of the DRDLR land claims, like in Hondeklipbaai, but that there had not been effective consultation with affected communities on the issue.
Mr A Nyambi (ANC, Mpumalanga) wanted to know if there was anything the Committee could do to help MEJCON-SA address the concerns they had raised.
Mr Thobejane responded that they would like SLPs to be mandatory when mining licenses were awarded. The process of drafting SLPs had to involve communities, and this had to be mandatory. He also raised a concern regarding land claims involving mining rights, asserting that mining companies sowed division among community members, often resulting in long delays for land claims’ resolution, or even eventually being unsuccessful.
Malan Scholes (MS) Presentation
Mr Leon Bekker, attorney on behalf of MS, highlighted some of their key concerns on the MPRDA emanating from their 96-pages submission to the DMR. He had already engaged with the State Law Advisor’s office on some of the issues raised in their submission, and wanted to know if they could engage the DMR as well.
There were seven key issues that MS raised in their presentation.
The first issue was on policy, in that MS believed that in terms of the Constitution; only Parliament could enact legislation, not the executive. Their view was that the proposal by the DMR to amend the Act to include the Codes of Conduct and the Mining Charter could be challenged in the Constitutional Court
The other issues pertained to clauses which MS felt should be redrafted for better understanding and interpretation of some issues raised in the MPRDA.
Another concern was with Section 9 -- the proposal that the Minister award licences by invitation, as against the current system of first come, first served. The manner in which the change had been drafted was problematic, as it was not clear how the process would work. Certain sections of Sections 19 and 23 would also have to be changed if Section 9 was amended.
The amendment of Section 100 dealing with historically disadvantaged South Africans (HDSAs) and the provision of services to mining companies was problematic, as it was not clear if non-South African mine workers and communities would benefit from broad based socio-economic empowerment initiatives flowing from the Charter. Another problem was that ‘HDSA’ referred to a person, whereas mining companies were corporate entities holding the mining rights, not individuals.
MS was also concerned about the drafting clarity of the section dealing with mining rights and minerals that occurred together in the same rock, such as platinum and chrome, which were extracted together even though only the platinum was actually mined and processed. If the company had mining rights only for the platinum, it could not process the chrome mined together when the rocks containing both minerals were crushed and processed. The issue would be further complicated if another entity owned the chrome mining rights, so this had to be clarified and worded carefully so it was clear on the process and the practicality of it.
On beneficiation, MS was concerned that even though it had been talked about since 2003, nothing concrete had as yet been implemented to facilitate it. The current suggestion in the MPRDA was problematic, as there were some aspects of the new proposals that would be difficult to implement, such as the concept of a mine gate price for designated minerals. Price was a commercial agreement between buyers and sellers, and could not be determined by an Act. A further suggestion was that beneficiation was not a mining process, but an industrial process, so it belonged in the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), not the DMR. Miners mined and processed, while beneficiation took place elsewhere.
The amendment of certain clauses in Section11, on Ministerial consent when changing ownership of a mining right, was problematic in that it was amending the 2008 Act, which had never been enacted, according to MS. The deletion of the words “or any interest” elsewhere in this section were problematic, and the clause had to be redrafted for better clarity. Mr Bekker did indicate that when he had raised this with the Parliamentary Legal Advisor, Ms Daksha Kassan, she had not agreed with him.
The last point raised by MS was on the lack of clarity in the MPRDA on how mine dumps would be re-mined. There was no clarity on how the new proposal would impact on moveable dumps or static dumps (historic residue stock piles).
The Chairperson said that as MS had utilised their full allotment of 30 minutes for their presentation, there was no time for questions from members. After concerns raised by Ms Labuschagne and Mr Nyambi that it would be very difficult to get a full understanding of the presentation unless Members could discuss and ask questions, - it was decided to allow about five minutes for discussion on the presentation.
Ms Labushcagne wanted clarity on the concerns MS had with the Mining Charter, mining rights and the codes of good conduct, as outlined in their report.
Mr Bekker responded that the Minister wanted to amend the Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) Charter, but this was Parliament’s duty, not the Minister’s.
Mr Nyambi wanted to know if there was anything positive in the MPRDA which had been referred back to the NCOP by President Zuma
Mr Bekker replied that there were several good things in the MPRDA, but the problem was that the wording on how things would be implemented was not clear – for example, in respect of beneficiation and the re-mining of mine dumps.
Sekhukhune Combined Mining Affected Communities (SCMAC)
Mr Gilbert Moela, Chairperson: SCMAC, gave a brief overview of the concerns and challenges communities in Sekhukhune faced with the MPRDA and mining companies.
SCMAC had similar concerns to MEJCON-SA with regard to the current narrative on mining in SA, which stated that mining was in the national interest and that no community could or should intervene to influence proceedings for the betterment of themselves.
According to SCMAC, there were many flaws in the Bill and the following were highlighted:
- The DMR was both referee and player, and this was not fair to mining stakeholders, especially mining communities. He cited the Mining Development Council that included the DMR, business and labour, but no mining community involvement, which meant the latter had no say in matters affected them.
- SMAC felt that the Minister had too much power to decide on mining issues.
- The scrapping of mandatory participation by mining communities was wrong and had to reinstated, as now they had no say in mining conditions in or around their areas. Mining communities had to have a stronger say in matters that affected them due to mining, compared to other stakeholders.
- The were not happy with the integration of mining SLPs with the municipal Integrated Development Plans (IDPs). These had to remain separate for better efficiency to ensure mines had their own budgets to spend on community upliftment.
- There had not been enough consultations in the Limpopo region where SCMAC communities resided, as there had been only two. In addition, the consultation with traditional authorities did not work, as the latter were not properly constituted.
- SCMAC said the Bill had to be scrapped, as the current process and thrust of the Bill did not allow mining communities affected by mining to have a proper say in mining activities that affected them. The current process was not fair. They wanted the Committee to form a broad task team consisting of mining communities, mines, government and other important role players to implement and oversee a more effective plan, to ensure mining communities had a better deal.
Mr Nyambi wanted to know if there was anything significant, in addition to the points raised, that SCMAC wanted the Committee to consider that would help them.
Mr Moela replied that there was none.
Ms Labuschagne requested clarity on their proposal not to combine the IDP and SLP budgets.
The Chairperson had a similar query, indicating that it would be difficult to have non-integrated plans as often mines and municipalities had to work together to ensure service delivery. For example, the delivery of water and roads in mining areas was a municipal responsibility.
Mr Moela responded with an example on the provision of water to mining communities. Often communities were caught between mines and municipalities -- when there was no water, mines would say it was a municipal matter, and municipalities would say they had to ask the mines for water.
The Chairperson said she wanted to be very clear on the issue of water provision, that it was a municipal responsibility.
Ms Labuschagne wanted further clarity on the separation of budgets and the process involved, and used the example of communities which had inadequate roads and no clean water supply or clinics in their area. Who do they ask for these to be provided -- the municipality or the mines? Do they ask for clean water, or a new clinic or school, and who pays? Perhaps the mines could build the clinic and the municipality do the roads and water supply.
Mr Moela said he agreed with this.
PETA Attorneys Inc
Ms Dineo Peta, MD: Peta Attorneys Inc, gave a short overview of their concerns on the MPRDA. She said that her company specialised in mining law, and had represented mines and mining communities. She highlighted the following issues on the MPRDA:
The definition of “Historically Disadvantaged” persons had to be amended to align with the new Mining Charter, where the reference was “Black” persons. If the objective of the Act was to redress historical imbalances, where land had been unlawfully dispossessed under apartheid, mineral land --land where minerals occurred – had been similarly dispossessed and had to be redistributed under the same conditions as the government’s land restitution process.
There was potential for bias against prospective licence holders in Section 9, which deals with the invitation for applications, to be adjudicated by the Minister. There was not enough information to understand how the process would work.
Section 28 needed more work, as in its current format it did not align with the objective of the Act. For example, section 2c had to be amended so that it also considered the information from mining communities and black persons, not just information from mining companies.
Section 47 dealing with the suspension or cancellation of permit rights had to be amended so that if a permit right holder did not meet the licence conditions on every year of assessment, the licence had to be suspended. This would require proper monitoring to ensure that non-compliant licence holders were penalised.
The DMR had to appoint a Committee to monitor compliance and ensure the accuracy and consistency of information and ensure that non-compliance was dealt with effectively.
In conclusion, Ms Peta said that the the MPRDA had to be reasonable and practical, and had to guard against impacting negatively on growth and development. The mining industry must not be crippled with onerous regulations - the amendments had to be positive, so that all South Africans benefited. At the same time the mining industry had to embrace transformation as a win-win for all, not as an act of charity for blacks.
There were no discussions or questions from Committee Members on the presentation.
Black Land First (BLF)
Mr Andile Mngxitama, President: Black Land First (BLF), led very large delegation of BLF members and gave a rousing and at times militant anti-white overview on the concerns relating to the MPRDA insofar as it impacted on black people, now landless due to it being stolen from them by white colonialists.
Before the presentation could begin Mr Mngxitama said he wanted it to be put on record that the BLF were not happy with the Parliamentary security personnel shadowing them. They had been accompanied by them from the entrance, and were still present as far as the BLF were concerned. The meeting could not proceed unless the security personnel were removed. This Committee and Parliament had called the security personnel to shadow the BLF.
The Chairperson and Mr E Mlambo (ANC) assured the BLF that they were safe and that no harm would come to them. The Chairperson said that the Committee had not called security.
Mr Mngxitama responded that he and other BLF did not feel safe and that unless the security people left he could not continue.
The Chairperson once again assured the BLF that no harm would come to them and the meeting finally got under way.
BLF was a revolutionary, black-conscious Pan Africanist body fighting against white monopoly capital and white supremacy that stole the land from blacks, which had started in 1652. The BLF highlighted the following issues on the MPRDA and other related issues that should be taken into consideration.
BLF wanted land, including land where minerals were found, expropriated without compensation, as suggested by President Zuma. The Committee had to support this, so that it could be implemented as soon as possible. Land had been stolen from blacks, the lawful owners, by whites, and stolen property like mines had to be returned. A further suggestion by the BLF was that land and minerals had to be nationalised.
BLF wanted communities to have a far greater say in mining activities and the ownership of mines, including a share of mining profits. As a minimum, they wanted at least 20% ownership via community ownership share schemes of mines located in the areas where communities lived. Workers on the mines and the state should have a further 20%. At least 70% of mines’ procurements had to be from black people.
They wanted the establishment of a National Sovereign Wealth Fund, created from mining profits, so that ordinary South Africans could get a cash dividend from mines - blacks first, and then others like whites. Whites, he said, had had 350 years of economic benefit, so now it was the time for blacks.
Mines that did not comply with licence or permit conditions needed to penalised far more harshly than the current MPRDA suggestion of a R5m fine and five years in jail. The BLF wanted a fine of 50% of the annual turnover of the year in which the transgression occurred, and a 10-year jail sentence. The Bill had to be strengthened to ensure better monitoring, so that the whole compliance process was managed more effectively.
BLF wanted “zama-zamas” (illegal miners) to be decriminalised, and their mining activities had to be legalised. The real criminals were the mines supported by white monopoly capital, not “zama-zamas”. Mining companies like Lonmin, a confirmed mass murderer, was allowed to stay and operate while other like Oakbay, owned by the Guptas, were victimised. Where was the justice. White-owned mines continued to terrorise black people, so the state and mining houses had to provide support and safety for “zama-zamas”. Two other important aspects to aid “zama-zamas” were that the state had to be the official buyer of all their products, and that the Bill had to include a provision to free all “zama-zamas” from jail.
He called on those Committee members who were honourable to support the BLF initiatives.
BLF supported the Mining Charter, and wanted the Committee and mining stakeholders to acknowledge Minister Zwane as a revolutionary and visionary minister who was transforming the mining industry. The MPRDA had to be amended so that it was aligned to the new Charter via Parliamentary processes.
Another important point the BLF vociferously debated was the transformation of the banking system. According to BLF, the financial sector was run by a cartel comprise of a few white families, like the Ruperts and others, and this cartel of rogue banks had to be broken. It cited ABSA bank as a rogue criminal bank that had stolen money from the state, and suggested that the state withdraw all its money from ABSA. In the interests of good governance, BLF suggested the formation of a black bank, or state bank, within 12 months to address the problem of white monopoly capital in the banking sector. BLF said that if this was not done, it would derail the transformation of the mining sector. It had to be done to end the hegemony of Johan Rupert.
Mr Nyambi wanted to know how BLF wanted the DMR to legitimise “zama-zamas”. Would it only be for locals in the mining area, or could “zama-zamas” from other areas also be allowed to mine in areas where they did not normally reside. He asked whether the BLF would also be addressing provinces on the issues raised here.
Mr Mngxitama replied that the “zama-zamas” regulation should allow them to mine in any area, just like the white monopoly capital mines. Locals within a community had to be given first preference to mine in their areas, and only then should outside “zama-zamas” be allowed. He said that there would be presentations in provinces, based on this national presentation, but that the provincial ones would be adjusted to include the issues of the particular province.
Mr Nyambi provided a further comment, and said BLF should consider it as “brotherly advice from an Honourable Member.” He said it would have been more helpful if the BLF had stuck to its presentation and the MPRDA agenda. It was not necessary to be a firebrand and always fight with everybody. Common respect for all was required, and labelling people according to colour and in a disrespectful way was not correct. Whites were part of South Africa -- we live with them.
Mr Mngxitama responded that he understood that, but that honour could not be declared, it had to be earned. Only those who were dishonorable would feel threatened by BLF comments.
Bathlakoane Ba Manzimnyama (BBM)
Mr Joe Mokoena, a trustee of BBM, focused on three main issues - the impact of mining on communities, the continued dominance of white monopoly capital in mining at the expense of mining communities, and a need to radically transform the mining industry.
He gave a short background on the BBM, which had lost all its land to mining companies. The community was now landless, poor and destitute. It had submitted claims to Anglo American, but so far there had been no restitution. The DMR had provided some support in its engagements with Anglo, which was mining coal, but despite several engagements with them, none of the benefits that BBM should get as an interested party in terms of the mining operations, had thus far accrued to them. Instead of BBM, which was directly affected by mining operations on the land, some “BEE fat cats” in Johannesburg were getting the benefits. In effect, Anglo had complied with the legislation, but BBM had not been included in any benefits or empowerment provisions. BBM had tried to address the problems via DMR’s regional office in Mpumalanga, but had had no success thus far.
The continued dominance of white monopoly capital had to be replaced by blacks in mining. This required the radical transformation of the mining industry. The Minister had to be given extensive powers to ensure that the current trend of foreign-owned companies dominating the mining industry was reversed. Mining communities needed a much stronger say in mining operations in their areas.
In conclusion, Mr Mokoena suggested that the government land restitution process could be used help BBM recover the benefits of its lost land. Mineral rights could be donated to BBM, perhaps as an experiment, to help the community develop and grow from the profits generated from mining. The Minister needed special powers to facilitate this, to help communities like BBM affected by mining operations.
Ms Labuschagne wanted more clarity on how BBM envisaged the existing mining companies could use BEE and the Charter to comply with community needs like BBM’s
Mr Mokoena responded that the new Mining Charter set out the following changes from the old 26% BEE empowerment rules to the new 30% requirement:
- 14% for BEE’s;
- 8% for workers;
- 8% for affected mining communities.
If this was implemented, the 8% for mining communities would break the cycle of excluding mining communities from empowerment deals and other benefits.
The Chairperson thanked BBM for their submission, and noted that the DMR had provided some support in its engagements with mining operators.
Department of Mineral Resources (DMR) on its Budget Vote
In terms of NCOP rules, Ms Z Ncitha was elected as acting Chairperson to preside over the DMR Budget Vote presentation. About one hour was available for this.
Ms Labuschagne objected strongly, saying it was not possible to do justice to the Committee oversight process within this timeframe. It was not procedural. If Members were unable to engage DMR and ask questions it would not be possible to support the budget vote.
Mr Nyambi agreed, but suggested the Committee go ahead and discuss the presentation the next day (closed session). Mr E Mlambo (ANC, Gauteng) supported this approach. Despite Ms Labuschagne’s objections, the meeting proceeded.
In the absence of the Minister, who was meeting with President Zuma, the Deputy Minister, who was attending meeting on illegal miners, and the Director General, the DMR presentation was led by DG - Ms Irene Singo, Chief Financial Officer (CFO).
Ms Singo said the Department’s strategic overview contained five key priority areas:
- Transformation of the industry by increasing black ownership and participation in the industry. This would be achieved by focussing on black ownership and participation, implementing plans to ensure communities benefited from mining, effective monitoring and enforcement, and finalising the MPRDA and Mining Charter.
- Attracting investment and growing the mining sector. This would be achieved by promoting investment in minerals, engaging various stakeholders to enable this, state participation in mining, and focusing on upstream petroleum investments.
- A strategy on mineral beneficiation had to be prioritised, developed and implemented. Three projects had to be identified and supported, plus further support provided for Mintek and the State Diamond Trader
- Skills development initiatives had to be co-ordinated more effectively.
- Enablers to implement the plans as above would require the DMR to improve its internal efficiencies, such as information and systems reform, better branding, and a review of the service delivery model. There had to be better oversight over entities under the DMR’s control, especially the Petroleum Agency of South Africa (PASA), which was responsible for licensing exploration, and was new to the Department.
In terms of the Departmental financial overview, its budget for 2017/18 was R1.8bn. Over the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) period from 2017 to 2020) the budget would grow nominally by 3.5%, but shrink by 2.2% in real terms. The Department was inadequately funded, and this would impact the delivery of its strategic priorities. The main expenses were on transfers to entities under the DMR’s control (52%) and staffing costs (32%). Cost reductions during the MTEF were around R74m and would occur mainly in employee compensation (R20m) and goods and services (about R7m). The entities’s funding under DMR control in this budget amounted to about R914m, of which most went to the Council for GeoScience and Mintek (about 40% each), and 9.5% for newly added PASA .
The Departmental annual performance plan (APP) embodied five programmes:
Programme 1, Financial Administration.
The DMR had identified four key strategic objectives: the provision of efficient internal and external customer service (100% compliance to pay suppliers within 30 days), the implementation of a Master Systems Plan to improve system and process efficiency, the efficient management of financial resources (no irregular expenditure), and the promotion of sound corporate governance by ensuring that the Department adhered to the Auditor General’s recommendations and guidelines.
Programme 2, Corporate Services.
Ms Patricia Gamede, Deputy Director General (DDG): Corporate Services highlighted the following strategic objectives: to contribute to skills development via bursaries and mining career initiatives, the sustainable development of vulnerable groups (projects involving woman, people with disabilities and youth), the effective communication of DMR programmes (e.g. rebranding, media stakeholder engagements, public participation initiatives), compliance with human resource legislation, legal support and advisory legal services.
Programme 3, Mine Health and Safety.
Mr David Msiza, Chief Inspector of Mines, said the programme included five key elements. The promotion of health and safety targeted a 20% annual improvement in the reduction of injuries and fatalities. Although there had been an improvement, with fatalities reduced from 84 in 2014, to 77 in 2015, the Department was concerned that there were still too many injuries and fatalities on mines. A second objective was the contribution to skills and development in this programme, which included collaborating with the Department of Higher Education and other stakeholders to ensure the implementation of skills development programmes. The third strategic objective was a target of 100% for adherence to service level agreements. The development and review of internal processes to improve overall efficiency was another key objective. The fifth strategic objective was to improve turnaround times -- for instance, an 80% target to adhere to prescribed time frames for medical appeals.
Programme 4, Mineral Regulation.
Ms Seipati Dlamini, DDG: Mineral Regulation, said this programme concentrated on six key initiatives: job creation, sustainable resource use, reduction of state environmental liability and risk, implementation of transformation policies, monitoring and enforcement of compliance, and improvement of turnaround times. On job creation, the DMR wanted to create jobs via the issuing of mining rights and implementation of SLPs. Thus far, about 7 000 jobs had been created and 120 SLP project compliance inspections completed. Regarding sustainable resource management and use, the DMR would focus on compliance of approved work programmes and approved environmental management programmes. The DMR aimed to reduce the state’s financial risk on environmental liabilities resulting from mining and related activities by reviewing environmental management programmes, issuing statuary notices on non-compliance, and increasing the awarding of closure certificates aligned to the MPRDA. A key strategic departmental objective was the transformation of the industry. In this regard, some examples of DMR initiatives in the current financial year would be the issuing of 150 rights and permits to HDSA entities, 150 engagements and consultations with communities and the mining industry, and conducting nine industry workshops (one per province). A total of 2 062 inspections would be done to ensure 100% compliance with mineral regulations, especially BEE and environmental compliance. This was a very important Departmental objective, and each regional office had been allocated specific transformation targets – for example, 10 HDSA rights and permits targeted for the Eastern Cape and Free State; 15 for Gauteng, KZN and Limpopo; 20 for Mpumalanga and North West Province; 30 for the Northern Cape; and 15 for the Western Cape. The sixth objective was to improve turnaround times in adjudicating mining rights applications and providing timeous responses to applicants.
Programme 5, Mineral Policy and Promotion.
Mr Jacob Moatshe, Acting DDG: Mineral Policy and Promotion, said the focus was on seven key objectives. These were the promotion of investment, management of resource diplomacy, sustainable resource use, integrated and aligned environmental processes, transformation of the sector, development and review of internal processes and lastly, to improve turnaround times. The promotion of the industry was critical to contribute to growth and the development of the country’s economy, and DMR would have several initiatives. He highlighted three important programmes - support for about 80 small, medium and micro enterprises (SMMEs), implementing the shale gas action plan, and plans to improve beneficiation value chains. The DMR would implement technical and strategic partnerships with African and other countries to facilitate the development of the local industry, such as creating diamond markets for state-owned entities (SOEs). To promote the sustainable use and management of resources, some DMR plans included technical partnerships with SOEs and other government organisations – for example, the Council for GeoScience (CGS), Mintek, African Diamond Producers Association -- for the rehabilitation of ownerless and derelict mines. Integrated and aligned environmental systems would be critical for the effective environmental programmes related to mining. The DMR would collaborate with the Department of Environmental Affairs and the Department of Water and Sanitation to ensure the process was managed effectively, and that there was overall alignment of activities and processes. Other Departments it would collaborate with on mining-related matters would be Public Enterprises and Labour. To facilitate the transformation of the mining and minerals sector, the DMR would employ several initiatives, like developing and reviewing its legislative instruments, while finalising the Mining Charter was an important milestone. Internal processes had to be developed and reviewed to improve business process efficiency
Due to time constraints, there was no time for any Committee discussion on the Department’s presentation.
The meeting was adjourned.
- Department of Mineral Resources presentation
- Mineral & Petroleum Resources Development Amendment Bill [B15D-2013]
- Mining and Environmental Justice Community Network of South Africa submission
- Sekhukhune Combined Mining Affected Communities submission
- Adv Leon J Bekker submission
- Peta Attorneys Inc submission
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