The Department of Mineral Resources (DMR) provided the Committee with a breakdown of its planned targets for 2018/19 across its Programmes ie Corporate Services, Financial Administration, Mine Health and Safety Inspectorate, Mineral Regulation and lastly Mineral Policy and Promotion. Key projects for 2018/19 covered mine rehabilitation, shale gas, derelict and ownerless mines and waste scrap reprocessing etc. For 2018/19 the total Medium Term Expenditure Estimate for the DMR was R1.89bn. The DMR was confident that the 2018/19 APP brought to life the mining related commitments made by President Cyril Ramaphosa during his 2018 State of the Nation Address (SONA).
Members pointed out that the DMR had not spoken to what its strategy was on assisting start up businesses to overcome their challenge of sustainability. The DMR was asked what its specific efforts on Operation Phakisa in the context of the ocean economy were. The DMR was also asked to elaborate on its verification inspections and what the impact of its completed projects was. Members asked whether the DMR was satisfied with the 18 377 jobs that it had created. Members observed that there was a general perception that the DMR in granting licences to companies tend to disregard the views of people in surrounding areas. Was it good enough only to have ten black industrialists? How would ten black industrialists contribute much to job creation? Members also asked about the DMR’s efforts on transfer of skills and access to markets. The DMR was further asked whether it was satisfied that its Programmes would cover the mining-related issues raised by President Cyril Ramaphosa in his 2018 SONA. Members raised concerns about the DMR making commitments to people at grassroots level and not sticking to them. A further concern was the DMR not filling critical vacant posts. Were there challenges that the DMR was facing in filling posts? Members asked for timeframes when critical posts would be filled. Other concerns that members had were around fatalities in the mining sector and around health and safety of mineworkers. Did the DMR together with the mining industry work on efforts to in advance detect accidents before they happened? The concern was that mining accidents was becoming a common occurrence. Members raised concerns around the economic and social sustainability of mining. Communities had to be taken on board and social labour plans had to be in place. The problem was that social labour plans were not being implemented and were not linked to the National Development Plan. The DMR was asked why it included social labour plans in its APP when proper implementation was not taking place. Affected communities complained that they were not being heard. Members stressed the importance of job creation when it came to economic sustainability. What were the efforts of the DMR on job creation and sustainability? The DMR was asked what the timeframes for the completion of its report on beneficiation was. When could the Committee be provided with the report? Members pointed out that the presentation had been silent on what baselines were used in the setting of targets. Members asked how many derelict and ownerless mines there were and whether the number was expected to increase. Did the DMR have information on how many zama zamas there were and where they operated? Members suggested that an audit be done. The EFF asked what the DMR’s take on the nationalisation of mines was. The Chairperson urged the DMR together with other departments to prioritise funding to ensure the safety of mineworkers. Did the DMR have enough inspectors? Was enforcement taking place? Members observed that the percentages provided in the presentation did not say much. Members needed a proper breakdown of figures.
The Committee adopted its Report on Budget Vote 29: Department of Mineral Resources APP 2018/19.
The Chairperson at the outset expressed his disappointment at the Committee receiving the briefing documents just before the start of the meeting. It hampered the Committee’s efforts to engage with the Department of Mineral Resources (DMR) properly.
Ms Irene Singo, Chief Financial Officer (CFO), DMR, apologised for the documents being submitted late and said that the Director General of the DMR Adv Thabo Mokoena and his Deputy Director Generals were at the DMR’s Budget Vote Speech. Adv Mokoena would join the meeting shortly.
A little while later Adv Mokoena joined the meeting.
Briefing by the Department of Mineral Resources on its Strategic Plan, Annual Performance Plan 2018/19 and Budget
Adv Mokoena gave the Committee a strategic overview on the DMR’s legislative mandate, its vision, mission etc. He also spoke to the organisational structure of the DMR and its past audited performance. Key projects for 2018/19 covered mine rehabilitation, shale gas, derelict and ownerless mines and waste scrap reprocessing etc. For 2018/19 the total Medium Term Expenditure Estimate for the DMR was R1.89bn.
Programme 1.1: Corporate Services
Ms Nthatsisi Rapoo Chief Director: Corporate Services and Human Resources on skills development the number of mining career awareness initiatives planned for 2018/19 was 11. Year to date 60 had been done. On attracting, developing and retaining skills the 2018/19 planned target was to maintain a vacancy rate at or below 10%. The year to date average vacancy rate was at 11%.
Programme 1.2: Financial Administration
Ms Singo on providing efficient services to internal and external customers stated that the planned target for 2018/19 on the percentage achievement of service level agreements was 95%. The year to date figure sat at 93.85% on average. On the implementation of processes and systems the planned target for the payment of suppliers within 30 days for 2018/19 was set at 100%. Year to date the achieved figure sat at 97.36%. Currently the DMR paid its suppliers on average within 12-15 days.
Programme 2: Mine Health and Safety Inspectorate
Dr Lindiwe Ndelu Chief Director: Occupational Health on promoting health and safety said that the planned targets for 2018/19 to reduce occupational fatalities and occupational injuries were set at 20% respectively. Year to date figures achieved were 13% and 11% respectively. The 2018/19 planned target for investigations initiated versus completed was set at 80%. Year to date achievement sat at 87%. On enquiries initiated versus completed the planned target for 2018/19 was set at 82% with year to date achievement also being 82%.
Programme 3: Mineral Regulation
Ms Modilati Malapane Acting Chief Director on promoting job creation on the number of jobs created through mining the planned target for 2018/19 was 7000 in number. Year to date 18 377 had been achieved. The planned target for 2018/19 on the number of black industrialists created through procurement was set at ten in number. Year to date ten black industrialists had been created. On implementing transformation policies and legislation the planned target for 2018/19 on the number of social labour plan inspections to be conducted was set at 212. Year to date the figure sat at 813.
Programme 4: Mineral Policy and Promotion
Mr Andries Moatshe Deputy Director General on promoting investment in the mining, minerals and upstream petroleum sectors the planned target for 2018/19 on the number of Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises (SMMEs) to be supported was set at 80. The year to date number supported sat at 315. On managing and implementing mineral resources diplomacy the planned target for 2018/19 on the number of strategic partnerships implemented was set at seven. The year to date figure sat at seven as well. On promoting sustainable resources use and management the planned target for 2018/19 on the number of derelict and ownerless mines rehabilitated was set at 45. The year to date number of mines rehabilitated sat at 145.
Adv Mokoena in conclusion stated that the approved and tabled 2018/19 APP brought to life the commitments made by President Cyril Ramaphosa pertaining to mining during his 2018 State of the Nation Address (SONA).
Mr J Parkies (ANC, Free State) stated that the DMR had not spoken to what its strategy was on assisting start up businesses to overcome their challenge of sustainability. He also asked what the DMR’s specific efforts on Operation Phakisa in the context of the ocean economy were. The DMR was asked to elaborate on its verification inspections. He asked what the impact of completed projects was. The DMR was asked whether it was satisfied with the 18 377 jobs that it had created. He said that there was a general perception that the DMR in granting licenses to companies tend to disregard the views of people in the surrounding areas. Was it good enough only to have ten black industrialists? The DMR was also asked what efforts on transfer of skills and access to markets were.
Adv Mokoena noted that the DMR continuously looked at the impact of its projects.
Mr Moatshe explained that when a prospective mine-holder applied for a licence specialist studies needed to be done. Studies like Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) studies were expensive. The reality was that Small Medium and Micro Enterprises (SMMEs) could not afford to do the studies. Another challenge encountered was that the sector was capital intensive. SMMEs struggled to maintain their equipment. The Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) through the Council for Scientific Industrial Research (CSIR) assisted SMMEs with EIAs. On Operation Phakisa he said that the ocean was an area which attracted various forms of investment ie fishing, mining etc. As a result there was a need to identify marine protected areas. Hot spots for example where fish bred were identified. These types of areas needed to be protected. Seismic surveys had to be done to gage the impact that mining could have on breeding areas. Opportunities for the mining of diamonds and oil also existed in the ocean. As part of Operation Phakisa, efforts were made to prevent oil spillages.
Ms Malapane on compliance said that the DMR had annual inspection plans. Targets were set based on the capacity that the DMR had. The 100% compliance spoke to seven targets for inspections that had been met. Based on inspections that were done it was found that not all companies were compliant. Information on what was discovered during inspections across provinces could be provided to the Committee. She responded that the 18 377 jobs created were not enough. A major challenge in the sector was that jobs were lost as well. The 18 377 jobs that were created were for social and labour plans. Some of the jobs created were short term jobs. The matter around ten black industrialists being created was noted. On transfer of skills and access to markets the DMR held workshops with the mining industry to encourage them to use locals. On the impact of projects the DMR’s focus was on basic infrastructure projects such as the building of roads, schools and clinics etc. On whether people were consulted when licenses were issued to companies, she explained that on Integrated Development Plans (IDPs) stakeholders were consulted. On mining operations the DMR engaged with municipalities on whether people were being consulted.
Mr A Nyambi (ANC, Mpumalanga) said that the whole purpose of the briefing was for members to understand what was being debated in the DMR’s Budget Vote. Most of the questions that members wished to pose required detailed explanations. Unfortunately the Committee faced time constraints and justice could not be done to the process. The briefing had in conclusion spoken about the DMR responding to issues raised during President Cyril Ramaphosa’s State of the Nation Address (SONA) 2018. Was the DMR satisfied that its Programmes cover the issues raised in the SONA? He said that people from Mpumalanga Province had raised many issues around the DMR. People from the Umjindi Municipality had complained about persons still being stuck underground even though the matter had been raised with the DMR. Commitments had been made but nothing had changed. There was still no closure on the matter. The DMR was asked to provide a detailed response. He was concerned that the DMR had still not filled critical vacant posts. There were many officials in acting posts. It could not be an optimal situation for any organisation. What were the challenges that the DMR was facing when it came to the filling of posts? Members could perhaps assist with challenges that the DMR faced. He understood that the Minister and the Deputy Minister of Mineral Resources could not attend the meeting as it was their Budget Vote Debate. He had at first been concerned when Adv Mokoena had not made a showing when the meeting started but was relieved when he had shown up.
Adv Mokoena pointed out that he had just received a message that members were complaining about where he was during the Minister of Mineral Resources’ Budget Vote Speech. He had just mentioned it as a matter of interest but understood that his presence was needed in the present meeting. He understood the feelings of members that perhaps the DMR did not respect the programme of the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) in the same way as that of the National Assembly (NA). He assured the Committee that the DMR treated the two houses of parliament equally. On whether the DMR could deliver according to its expectations he stated that the DMR planned its programmes for the financial year. The DMR was audited accordingly on whether targets had been achieved or not. The DMR would deliver according to its APP. On complaints that Mr Nyambi had received he said that discussions were taking place for operations to start at the mine in question. The mine had new owners and a meeting with the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) was planned. He said that the DMR tried to speak to the challenges that were there. The Committee would be provided with a report in this regard. The DMR had a plan to fill vacant posts and it would be provided to the Committee.
Ms Z Ncitha (ANC, Eastern Cape) found it unacceptable that the Committee had only received the briefing documents before the start of the meeting. She asked for timeframes when critical posts would be filled. She was concerned about fatalities in the mining sector and around health and safety issues of its workers. Did the DMR together with the industry work on efforts to in advance detect accidents and to prevent them? Mining accidents were becoming too common.
Mr Ngwenya said that it was a concern that mines placed profits before the safety of its workers. The DMR did however intervene. On the flip side there were mines that operated without having lost any lives. He pointed out that SA did not as yet have a seismic monitoring system as to prevent accidents from happening. The DMR did work with the Council for Geoscience. The DMR did its best to do proactive inspections and audits. When accidents happened investigations and enquiries were done. On mine health and safety the DMR continued to work with stakeholders.
Ms Rapoo, on the filling of critical posts, said that the DMR was busy with it. Deputy Director General posts were in the process of being filled. Some posts would be filled before the end of September 2018.
Ms C Labuschagne (DA, Western Cape) on DMR’s commitment to deal with issues raised during the SONA said that most of the questions could be clustered under mining investment and to promote sustainable mining. She said that members were concerned about economic and social sustainability. Communities had to be taken into consideration. There should be social labour plans. The problem was that social labour plans were not being implemented and were not linked to the National Development Plan (NDP). She observed that there were not many social labour plans planned for 2018. Why was social labour plans part of the APP if it could not be implemented properly? Communities needed to be included. Affected communities complained that they were not being heard. On economic sustainability she stressed that job creation should be taking place. She felt that having ten industrialists were not good enough. How would ten industrialists contribute to job creation? She asked what the timeframe was on the completion of the report on beneficiation. When would the Committee be provided with the report? The DMR was asked what was happening on job creation for communities affected by mining. What was the DMR’s plan on sustainability within communities? On compliance she noted that many of the performance figures given spoke about 100% compliance. She asked what baselines were used. The Committee needed for instance figures on how many mines there were in each province. On occupational health and safety she was pleased that there was a reduction in fatalities. She was a bit concerned that the budget for occupational health and safety was lesser than other programmes. The DMR was asked how many derelict and ownerless mines there still were. What was the risk of more mines going down this path?
Adv Mokoena stated that the DMR did look at social labour plans. The DMR did engage mining companies over the matter. Social labour plans had to become public documents and had to be implemented. There was a need for social labour plans to be aligned to integrated Development Plans. The DMR urged mining companies which operated in a specific area to combine their social labour plans. There was buy-in from mining companies. The DMR on the Mining Charter invited all relevant stakeholders to participate. Job creation was a matter prioritised by the Minister of Mineral Resources. Reports on job creation had been consolidated.
Ms Singo responded that it might look as though the budget for mine health and safety was lesser than other budgets but in actual fact it was not. On the capacity of the Inspectorate she agreed that the issue was not only about a lack of funding. Skills were also needed.
Mr Moatshe, on investment promotion, said that the DMR had taken Small Medium and Micro Enterprises (SMMEs) to Russia. SMMEs were also included in the Mining Indaba that had been held. He noted that there was community involvement. Communities were involved in the rehabilitation of areas. SMMEs also hired local persons. He said that the Committee would be provided with the Framework on Beneficiation. On derelict and ownerless mines he pointed out that the Council for Geosciences had researched sites. There were in excess of 5000 mine sites. A total of 753 sites needed serious attention. Some of these sites could be re-mined. The DMR would provide the Committee with a provincial breakdown of the 753 sites.
Ms Malapane responded that sustainable development was taking place. On the non implementation of social labour plans she said that the numbers that the DMR had on it was all that it could verify. It all depended upon the capacity of the DMR. What was included in the DMR’s APP was based on its capacity. On participation on social labour plans there was participation at mining forums. Perhaps there was a need for proper guidelines for mining companies to participate. On job creation the DMR had challenges.
Dr H Mateme (ANC, Limpopo) asked whether the DMR knew how many zama zamas there were and where they operated. She said that an audit was needed.
Adv Mokoena on zama zamas pointed out that it was an illegal activity but understood why people did it. There was a bill in the pipeline to regularise the activity. Two mining permits had been issued to zama zamas in the Kimberley area.
Ms N Koni (EFF, Northern Cape) asked what the DMR’s take on the nationalisation of mines were.
The Chairperson said that in the public domain there was the belief that the mining industry placed profits way above the interests of mine workers. He suggested that the DMR together with other departments prioritise the spending of more funds on the safety of mine workers. The DMR was asked whether it had enough inspectors. Was enforcement taking place?
Mr Ngwenya responded that the DMR did not have enough inspectors. Part of the reason was due to a lack of skills. The DMR did endeavour to develop skills. Over the past few years 50 inspectors had been trained. A challenge was that the DMR found it difficult to retain skills. Staff that was trained was often poached by the private sector.
Mr Parkies stated that he was not satisfied by the percentages provided by the DMR. The Committee needed to be provided with proper breakdown of figures. Members should be given information on outcomes of inspections and of labour plans etc.
The Chairperson urged the DMR in writing to provide the Committee with detailed responses to questions asked.
Adv Mokoena said that the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development (MPRD) Bill and the Mining Charter were being finalised.
The Committee adopted its Report on Budget Vote 29: Department of Mineral Resources APP 2018/19.
Minutes dated 17 April and 24 April 2018 was adopted unamended.
The meeting was adjourned.
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