Hansard: EPC: Debate on Vote 29 - Mineral Resources
House: National Assembly
Date of Meeting: 07 May 2015
No summary available.
EPC - NATIONAL ASSEMBLY
Thursday, 7 May 2015 Take: 200
THURSDAY, 7 MAY 2015
PROCEEDINGS OF EXTENDED PUBLIC COMMITTEE – NATIONAL ASSEMBLY CHAMBER
Members of the Extended Public Committee met in the National Assembly Chamber at 16:40.
House Chairperson Mr C T Frolick, as Chairperson, took the Chair and requested members to observe a moment of silence for prayer or meditation.
START OF DAY
Debate on Vote 29 - Mineral Resources:
THE MINISTER OF MINERAL RESOURCES:Chairperson,chairperson and members of the Portfolio Committee on Mineral Resources, hon members, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, comrades and friends, I have the honour of presenting the Mineral Resources Budget Vote for consideration by this House. This Budget Vote is a continuation of the task we set ourselves at the beginning of thisadministration in 2014 and an opportunity to deliberate on the department’s plans for the 2015-16 financial year.
A budget of R1 618 billion has been allocated to the Department of Mineral Resources, the DMR, for the current financial year. This year’s budget is presented at a time when the prices of the majority of commodities have remained somewhat depressed and, in certain cases, they have declined to levels that may threaten the sustainability of some operations. The mining gross value added declined marginally yearonyear - in respect of 2013-14 by 1,5% to R227 billion - while total industry employment dropped to 493 000 from 508 000 in the same period. I remain confident that the resilience of the mining industry will ensure that we emerge from the current climate with minimal impacton the long-term sustainability of the industry.
In order to proactively tackle issues facing the industry, we strengthened the Mining Growth, Development and Employment Task Team, MIGDETT, and streamlined its technical working streams to optimise functionality and enhance efficiencies. The MIGDETT principals meeting, chaired by the Minister, provides strategic guidance on the work of the MIGDETT. Stakeholders have accordingly established three work streams focusing on industry stability; transformation, growth and competitiveness; and sustainable development.
In addition, the department will continue to provide support to the implementation of the framework agreement for a sustainable mining industry. We continue to call on stakeholders to respect and implement the framework agreement. Last year, we had to deal with the aftermath of the protracted platinum strike, arising from wage disputes. I am aware that negotiations are currently underway within the gold sector and take this opportunity to urge stakeholders to draw lessons from that experience and avoid a repeat of thatscenario.
Notwithstanding current challenges, the DMR approved over 36 new mining rights projects in the past 12 months, with the potential to create about 6 000 jobs.
It is significant that I present this Budget Vote following the commemoration of Freedom Day and during Workers’ Month. It also follows the commemoration of the World Day for Safety and Health at Work, on 28 April 2015, a day on which the world’s trade union movement holds its International Commemoration Day for Dead and Injured Workers to honour the memory of victims of occupational incidents and diseases.
We will continue to honour the memory of those who lost their lives in mining-related incidents and acknowledge the important role that mineworkers have played in shaping the economy of this country. In this regard, the National Union of Mineworkers has brought to our attention a gravesite in the Evander area in the Mpumalanga province, where about 1 000 mineworkers were buried during the apartheid era and whose names and origins continue to be unknown. Accordingly, the department will collaborate with other stakeholders to ensure that decent monuments are erected in their memory.
We will continue to work tirelessly to ensure that the goal of zero harm to mineworkers is ultimately achieved through intensifying monitoring and enforcement measures. This has resulted in improved health and safety of workers on the mines. In this regard, there has been a reduction of about 86% in fatalities reported by the mines since the dawn of democracy: from 615 in 1993 to 84 in 2014.In fact, 2014 was the safest year ever for the mining sector, with the lowest fatalities of 84 being recorded. This year,until 31 March, figures show that there has been a 41% reduction in fatalities when compared to the same period in 2014.
However, I am concerned about the number of deaths from occupational diseases, which include pulmonary TB, silicosis and noise-induced hearing loss, among others. I call on the industry to place greater emphasis on these matters. In this regard, the Mine Health and Safety Council will continue to monitor the situation to ensure that the November 2014 Mine Health and Safety Tripartite Summit commitments and action plan are implemented to the full.
The department also continues to be greatly concerned about the health and safety of women workers, including their inhumane treatment by fellow workers on some of the mines.As a department, we will continue to take the necessary measures to ensure that women have a safe and dignified working environment.
The department has, through the Mine Health and Safety Council, conducted research on security matters involving women in mining in particular. Based on the outcomes, a guideline and awareness material will be developed to assist the industry on how this matter should be handled going forward.
Also, the regulations on refuge bays, which require all underground mines to have life-sustaining chambers, have recently been gazetted. The use of these bays assisted in the rescue of about 486 mineworkers during a recent fire incident at one of the gold mines.
We introduced the Mining Charter in 2004, a trailblazer sector charter, in our pursuit to deal decisively with our segregated past and to normaliseour society. The interim assessment report on the implementation of the charter was recently released. We have augmented capacity to collect data to gauge progress on the implementation of transformation levers contained therein. For the first time, we deployed a web-based system of individual right-holders to submit statistical returns online. The final report has been completed, barring the ownership element, and will be released following engagements with respective stakeholders.
I have observed the concerns raised by some stakeholders who harbour reservations on the matter of a declaratory order regarding ownership. These concerns relate to the broader transformation agenda of the sector. Consequently, I am engaging with the stakeholders to find a way forward regarding this matter, appreciating the need for regulatory certainty as a matter of urgency.
The finalisation of the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Amendment Bill, which was referred back to Parliament last year, remains a priority and the department will be available to support the legislatures as they process the Bill.
Furthermore, the Mine Health and Safety Amendment Bill, which is currently being processed through the National Economic Development and Labour Council, Nedlac, will, upon approval by Cabinet, be referred to this House for consideration.
I have also reprioritised the State-Owned Mining Company Bill for referral to Cabinet and Parliament during the current financial year.
To ensure policy clarity on coal, I have directed that urgent work should commence on the development of a coal policy framework. A task team, under the auspices ofMIGDETT,has already commenced its work in this regard. The key objective of this process is to develop a framework for ensuring security of the coal supply for local consumption and the promotion of sustainable employment, among others.
In his state of the nation address this year, President Zuma announced that a “Mining Phakisa” would be convened to deliver fast and implementable results to the country’s development priorities. It is our intention to focus the Phakisa on, inter alia, mineral beneficiation - to achieve a win-win situation; the development of a programme of action to mitigate binding constraints, including infrastructure, research and development;and to channel the output of this stakeholder process as the basis on which to review mining strategy in the country.
Regarding shale gas development, the petroleum industry experienced an unprecedented drop in prices recently. We are optimistic that the situation will improve over time and will not necessarily impact negatively on South Africa’s exploration prospects.In this regard, I am confident that our augmented regulatory framework, which draws from the global experience, will enable us to proceed swiftly. We will continue to use various platforms to engage stakeholders in dialogue on shale gas issues, as part of our consultative processes.
Incidentally, in July 2014, oil producer Total and their partners, CNR, started a groundbreaking ultra-deep offshore exploration programme, targeting an oil field about 2 000m below the sea floor. Drilling progressed until major technical challenges were experienced at about 500m below the sea floor.Despite the current suspension of drilling as a result of mechanical challenges, valuable onsite experience was gained and in future, exploration activities in ultra-deep waters are likely to succeed.
The process of reorganising the department has started in earnest. This is intended to ensure an efficient and development-oriented Department of Mineral Resources. Further, we launched an upgraded version of the online licensing system, the SA Mineral Resources Administration, Samrad, in February, this year. This enhancement has achieved, among other things, the elimination of the human factor in the processing of license applications in the country.
Last year, I also informed hon members about the streamlined integrated process for issuing licenses within a maximum of 300 days. I am pleased to confirm that from 8 December 2014, all applications are lodged in line with the new systemas announced. In this regard, an enforcement and compliance unit has been established in the department to ensure the successful implementation of the integrated licensing system.
Skills development remains a key priority for the department. Accordingly, we have prioritised the training of senior and middle managers through various programmes with reputable institutions such as the Wits Business School and the University of Pretoria.
Furthermore, the department is collaborating with the Department of Higher Education and Training and other stakeholders through the Mining Qualification Authority, MQA, to ensure that the skills programmes continuously respond to the changing mining landscape by improving the skills of mining communities and labour-sending areas.
The MQA regional offices are now operational in rural technical vocational education and training, TVET, colleges in the Northern Cape, Free State, Mpumalanga, North West, Limpopo and Eastern Cape. The MQA skills development programmes include adult education and training, mathematics and science, bursaries in engineering subjects, artisan training and jewellerymaking.
Furthermore, 1 477 unemployed and retrenched young people around mining and labour-sending areas are currently receiving trainingthat involves portable and entrepreneurial skills. An additional 600 will be trained this year.
Last year I reported on government’s initiatives to modernise South Africa’s geological infrastructure and ensure that the country remains competitive with regard to exploration and attracting investment.The process of upgrading the geoscientific infrastructure is ongoing and work is at an advanced stage in respect of KwaZulu-Natal, Northern Cape, Mpumalanga and Limpopo provinces. Furthermore, preparations for the hosting of the 2016 International Geological Congress are progressing very well.
Over the medium-term period, Mintek will focus on research and development in efficient mineral processing technologies, research and development. In this regard, I am happy to report that the Mintek e-waste recycling project is underway. This project has the potential to make South Africa a hub and a leader in recycling for Africa. Research is underway to explore the use of the recovered metals in jewellery making.
With regard to the diamond industry, we will continue to drive the local beneficiation of South Africa’s diamonds. As part of this, we will, through the State Diamond Trader, host a diamond indaba aimed at addressing pertinent issues relating to the industry.The SA Diamond and Precious Metals Regulator has developed a concept document on the feasibility of establishing a study, which is currently being considered by the board. I am looking forward to engaging with them, once their deliberations are concluded.
Mintek’ssmall-scale mining and beneficiation programmes continue to provide training and incubation for the development of small businesses in the fields of ceramic and jewellery manufacturing in the country. As an example, Mintek will continue the training of young people to process semiprecious stones and to assist them in developing sustainable businesses for semiprecious jewellery.
Recently, I undertook a series of izimbizo in the Northern Cape, North West and Gauteng, during which I interacted with key players in our industry. A prominent feature and discovery of these interactions was concerns raised by small-scale miners and communities and the extent to which current interventions were inadequate. As a starting point, we will - in collaboration with the Department of Small Business Development - host a workshop with small-scale miners in the Northern Cape to align government interactions and interventions. We hope to use the outcomes of these interactions as a blueprint to spread the strategy across the country.
South Africa remains an integral part of regional growth. As a result, the government of South Africa is not only a founding signatory of the African Mining Vision but is fully engaged in implementing this blueprint document through structures established to ensure its co-ordination.The African Ministers Responsible for Mineral Resources Development has endorsed the African Minerals Development Centre to assist the implementation of this vision.
South Africa is also a member of the African Diamond Producers Association and has the privilege of serving as the Deputy Executive Secretariat in Angola. This structure has secured an observer status within the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme, KPCS, and assists with the co-ordination of an African development agenda in multilateral platforms such as the KPCS.
In conclusion, I am confident that South Africa remains an attractive investment destination for mining. As the regulator of this important industry, we commit to discharging our responsibility in a manner that is beneficial to the South African economy and its people. As we begin this 21st year of democracy, we commit to redoubling our efforts to move South Africa’s mining industry forward.
I wish to take this opportunity to thank my wife,Mmatlou, and my children Tlou, Refentse and Ngoako Junior for the support they have offered me. [Applause.]I hereby thank the portfolio committee, Deputy Minister, Comrade Oliphant, the management and the staff under our director-general, DrRamontja, including the state-owned enterprises, for their commitment and support.
Lastly, I want to acknowledge the special role played by NtateSedikoRakolotefor facilitating the establishment of a task team between the unions, the mines and government. The task team is geared towards dealing with occupational diseases. I hereby table this Budget Vote before the House for support. I thank you.[Applause.]
Mr Z M D MANDELA
The MINISTER OF MINERAL RESOURCES
Mr Z M D MANDELA: Hon Chair, Minister and Deputy Minister, hon members, comrades, fellow Members of Parliament, ladies and gentlemen in the gallery, good afternoon. I am honoured to contribute to the debate on Budget Vote 29 - Mineral Resources. I commend the Minister, Deputy Minister and the department for their sterling work and assure them of our unwavering support for this Budget Vote. [Applause.]
As we prepare to celebrate the anniversary of the Freedom Charter, adopted on 26 June 1959 - which you would not know anything about - we are proud of the progress we have made. Sixty years ago, those gathering in Kliptown proclaimed with one voice for the entire world to know, and I quote:
South Africa belongs to all who live in it, ...
The mineral wealth beneath the soil, the banks and the monopoly industry shall be transferred to the ownership of the people as a whole.
Back then, the prospects for such freedom and ownership rights by the majority of our people were a distant dream. How far we have journeyed!Today, the overwhelming majority of our people live in conditions vastly different from what they were, even 10 years ago. Ownership of the mineral wealth beneath our soil has been transferred to the state, on behalf of the people, as articulated in the Freedom Charter. [Applause.] This, all due to the sterling work of the Department of Mineral Resources, despite the challenges the sector has faced in recent years.
We are proud of South Africa’s pre-eminent position in the mineral resources world. It is a position we have earned through our experience, expertise and technological innovations.
We are a world leader in the industry, but we are deeply cognisant of the heavy price paid and sacrifices made by tens of thousands of our compatriots in order for us to achieve this lofty position, many of whom are yet to fully taste the fruits of their toil.
As the successors of Dr Walter Benson Rubusana, who founded the South African Native Congress, which was transformed into our proud national organisation in 1912, we know that since our inception we had the support of King Letsie of Lesotho, Queen Labotsibeni of Swaziland, Kgosi [king] Khama of Botswana and King Lewanika of Zambia, after whom my father was named.We remember this history at a time of deep concern about xenophobia and criminal attacks on foreign nationals.
We dedicate these words today to the many generations of fellow Africans from all over Southern Africa – Mozambique, Lesotho, Malawi, Zambia, Tanzania, Swaziland, Botswana and Namibia - and other lands – who slogged deep below the surfaces of this beautiful land of ours. They often work under perilous conditions to extract the mineral wealth, in return for paltry wages, at the loss of their family lives and their dignity.
It would be inhuman for us to be silent spectators as criminals strip our sisters and brothers of their dignity. Say no to xenophobia! The burden of our history weighs heavily upon us to acknowledge that the economy of this country owes part of its success to the contributions of fellow Africans. Say no to xenophobia![Applause.]
Today, we celebrate an industry committed, first and foremost, to the dignity, honour and freedom of mineworkers, with a deep respect for their contribution to the economy of South Africa and the wellbeing of its people.
Minister, this is also a tribute to you and our government’s determination to ensure that the occupational health and safety of mineworkers is treated as an utmost priority in a pervading culture of zero harm. To do any less would take us back to the dark days when black lives were dispensable and the treatment meted out to our grandfathers who worked the mines was despicable and reprehensible in the extreme.
How different it is today; to have a government willing to intervene through its legislative, regulatory and oversight prerogatives, to ensure compliance with global industry best practice - a government that is intent on spreading the benefits of our mineral resources to all.
We thank God that the days are gone of a worker from my village, MvezoKomkhulu, returning to a humble thatched hut after a lifetime of service to eke out the remaining years of his life, often suffering the pains and sicknesses of decades of abusive and hard labour. [Applause.]
We shall work closely with the department to ensure the realisation of the strategic goal of sharing equitably in South Africa’s mineral wealth. To this end, we are mindful of the critical role the mineral regulation programme plays to regulate the minerals and mining sector, to promote economic development, employment and ensure transformation and environmental compliance.
We must emphasise that the progress we have made must not blind us to the work still lying ahead. It is the responsibility of this House, in particular the relevant portfolio committee, to ensure not only full legal compliance but also that companies embrace their historic responsibility as partners in the transformation of our society. We are mindful, hon Minister, of your view that mining companies could do more. We support your call for the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Amendment Bill to be reconsidered.
We must continue to endeavour to attract foreign direct investment and support the work of the Mineral Policy and Promotion programme.
South Africa has an unparalleled resource base that should be very attractive to foreign direct investment. Developing mineral resources is expensive and we must do all we can to contribute to creating positive global perceptions of our investment.
It is our considered view that more can be done by the Mine Health and Safety Council to give effect to this important priority. We are, however, encouraged by the safety council’s plans to invest in a centre of excellence to conduct research, health and safety training and education.
We are further encouraged by the opportunities to promote investment in mineral beneficiation, the plans to develop the ocean economy through Operation Phakisa, and the support for small-scale mining projects.These developments reflect the commitment in the ANC’s election manifesto to invest in infrastructure that unlocks economic opportunities and creates jobs. For those on the other side of the House who may not have had the opportunity to read it, the manifesto said, and I quote:
We will invest in infrastructure that can unlock the vast mineral wealth of the country, create jobs and support the local beneficiation of minerals for the benefit of all South Africans.
Finally, let me conclude with these sage words from uTatomkhulu President Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, ... [Interjections. ] ... which he uttered in a speech to the Parliament of the Republic of Ireland in July 1990, and I quote:
It could have been that our own hearts had turned to stone. But we understood that the oppression dehumanises the oppressor as it hurts the oppressed. We understood that to emulate the barbarity of the tyrant would also transform us into savages. We knew that we would sully and degrade our cause if we allowed that it should, at any stage, borrow anything from the practices of the oppressor.
I thank you. [Applause.]
Mr J R B LORIMER
Mr Z M D MANDELA
Mr J R B LORIMER: Chairperson, well, that is all very nice. I am always struck by the great contrast between the warm and soothing descriptions of the mining industry that we hear from the government’s side of the House and what I hear from the very real concerns of industry and the anger of the communities. This is an industry that is hanging on by its finger nails. You would not think so from what we have heard.
On the face of it, the Department of Mineral Resources looks to be quite well run. It has, once again, achieved an unqualified audit; it certainly talks a good case about how it is meeting all its challenges; and it puts forward a rosy future, even within the next few months, certainly as far asthe SA Mineral Resources Administration, Samrad, is concerned. But to truly assess this department we have to look at how well the mining sector is faring in South Africa. Is it a place where investors can put their money with a credible belief that there is a worthwhile prospect of good returns? Is it delivering on its promise of improving the lives of all South Africans? Are the reports presented by the department credible? Well, no, they are not.
I will tell you why I say that. About seven months ago I went to see for myself the effect of the widespread open-cast coal mining in Mpumalanga. One of the mines that I visited was the WelgelegenShanduka pit in the Delmas district. This is a great scar in the earth that has been ripped through prime planting land and is surrounded by huge, man-made mountains of discard.
One of those artificial mountains, more than 50 m high, was burning on top. Coal dust is flammable, so it is not uncommon for these fires to begin. The local resident I was with told me it had been that way for months. These fires pollute the air with choking fumes that invade the homes of those living nearby, should the wind be in the wrong direction. These fires are a health hazard; they are out of control and hard to put out. So, I asked in a written question to the Department of Mineral Resources whether it was keeping tabs on these coal-mine fires, both underground and above ground. Here is the answer: There are no runaway fires at mines operating underground or at open-cast coal mines or at coal waste dumps. I went back there 10 days ago and climbed that dump. Seven months later it was still billowing smoke; it was still on fire.
The Glissa coal mine, close to Belfast, is still on fire. The fire is burning in buried discard and is undermining heritage gravesites. There is also a fire at the nearby Vogelstruispoort mine.How many more coal mines have fires that cannot be put out? Some of them have been burning unstoppably for generations, like the old Transvaal and Delagoa Bay Colliery near Emalahleni - burning underground since 1953. No coal fires - really? How does the Department of Mineral Resources think it can get away with such a falsehood? Do they not know what is going on? Does top management never visit mines, or are they are so contemptuous of Parliament that they think they can answer however they like? It begs the question: If the department does not tell the truth when answering these requests from Parliament, what else are they not telling the truth about?
There is also a lack of good administration in the sense that issues are not being dealt with properly.In last year’s debate, I pointed out that the Department of Mineral Resources was not following the proper processes to settle a dispute in the Northern Cape. That is where the company called Aquila applied for mining rights after spending R150 million proving the existence of the manganese resource only to be told that a state-owned mining company had been given prospecting rights over the same area.
The hon Minister then said - and these were his actual words: “The matter of Aquila Resources is on my desk. I will attend to it as a matter of urgency. We do not have time to waste. We have to get the country working.” Fine sentiments - but nothing was solved. Now, the Chinese owners of Aquila are taking the Department of Mineral Resources to court. How much money will be wasted on legal fees? Even worse, how much potential investment will go elsewhere because our mining regime has no credibility?
Then there is oil and gas. Shell was ready to pour billions of rand in investment into South Africa, but now they have reduced their offices here from 42 people to three. This is because they could no longer justify the expensive wait for this government to provide a realistic regulatory framework. Please, do not fool yourself, hon Minister, they did not just go because of low prices.
There is promise after promise but no action. It seems this government has put a new energy development on hold so it can pursue a dodgy nuclear deal with Tsar Vladimir, the neo-imperialist, which stands to make the ANC far richer than even the Chancellor House-Medupi contract did.Disappearing investment shows our mining jurisdiction has little credibility with investors.
Now, what about the workers? This government was warned about the Diamond Amendment Act. “Nonsense,” said the ANC, “you are just protecting white privilege.” Well, we know how that turned out. Cutters and polishers are down from thousands to hundreds. Some 24 000 people working in the small diamond mine part of the industry – that figure is down to less than 5 000 now. More rules, but less work. How credible is that piece of legislation with workers who lost their jobs?
The SA Diamond and Precious Metals Regulator, funded by this budget, admitted the other day that they do not share the database of the Department of Mineral Resources or the Sars database. That means some mines are not registered and are still selling diamonds. So, some parts of the industry are fiercely regulated but others are completely ignored. Who chooses who gets ignored? The potential for corruption is enormous and I doubt whether a diamond indaba is going to help this. There is no credibility.
Despite another forest of rules to direct mining involvement in communities, many mines lack credibility in those communities where they operate - communities like the one at Xolobeni on the Wild Coast or the Bapoba Mogale who are campaigning strongly against what they see as a department that is not looking after their interests. Nationalising mineral rights means it is incumbent on the government to safeguard the interests of those who are supposed to benefit. The Department of Mineral Resources has a credibility problem in these communities too.
Sometimes this is not the department’s fault; it is the fault of confusion and uncertainty in ANC policy - like the fact that we are still sitting with a destructive Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Amendment Act looming over the industry.Why is the process of amending it so slow? We are not really told, but we can deduce, by a process like Kremlinology, that it is because hon Minister Rob Davies is still fighting to reintroduce developmental pricing, an enthusiasm he pursues with a tireless lack of judgement. We hear hon Minister Ramatlhodi is standing up against this. If this is true, well done to the hon Minister and I certainly hope you win - but in the meantime the industry drifts with no certainty on whether South Africa would be a good place in which to invest. Investment is not good for its own sake, it is good because it creates and sustains jobs. This lack of credibility with workers, investors, communities and in Parliament is a problem because it drives away potential investors who cannot then trust the jurisdiction.
How can it be fixed? Very briefly, like this: Firstly, rewrite the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Amendment Act, so that mining is governed by certain legislation rather than by uncertain regulation. Write it with the intention of attracting investment. Secondly, fix procedures so that licensing and investor issues are dealt with quickly and professionally. Thirdly, fast-track new diamond legislation and this time listen to the industry. Lastly, give communities and land owners real power to negotiate with prospective miners.
If the government does this, it can allow the industry to grow to where the whole country benefits. If this is not done, investors, citizens and the industry would be left as they are now: twisting in the wind. [Applause.]
Mr M M DLAMINI
Mr J R B LORIMER
Mr M M DLAMINI: Hon Chairperson and hon members, my name is Marshall Dlamini, I am the representative of the EFF, ... [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Order, hon members!
Mr M M DLAMINI: ... the government in waiting. [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Order, hon members!
Mr M M DLAMINI: The reason I am representing the EFF in this debate on the Budget Vote of the Department of Mineral Resources is that the commander in chief of the EFF is busy writing his examinations with the University of South Africa. [Interjections.]And the reason he is doing that is because we take ourselves so seriously that we do not want to be led by an illiterate president going forward. The reality, hon members, is that the world has become a sophisticated place and it needs people with sophisticated minds ... [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Order, hon members!
Mr M M DLAMINI: ... who would be able to provide long-lasting solutions.[Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Hon Dlamini! Will you just take your seat, please? Just sit down. Hon members on both sides of the House, let us give the hon member a chance. Let us give him a chance to carry on with his speech.
Mr M M DLAMINI: When the Minerals and Petroleum Resources Development Act was adopted in 2002, all South Africans celebrated. Yes, they had reason to celebrate because the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act took mineral rights from the hands of the few multinationals and put it into those of the government elected by the people. [Interjections.] The Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act directed all mineral rights, that we should export our minerals and that we should do that only with the written permission from the Minister. The Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act gives the Minister the power to withdraw all licenses of the mining companies that do not comply with the Act.
There are various other very progressive interventions that were provided in the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act, compared to the previous legislation. However, the people of South Africa still do not enjoy the fruits and the benefits of mining in South Africa. [Interjections.] Since the beginning of this Fifth Parliament, the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act has been returned to this House because the Chamber of Mines objected to the sections that wanted to impose the development price on certain minerals. [Interjections.]
The department - which is an implementing agency - is here, asking for more money to perform its operations while the policy and legislative uncertainty still needs to be sorted out. We know the processing of the new Bill is not finalised, but there is an existing law which should take form. However, the reality is that the Department of Minerals and Energy has no capacity to implement the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act and the Mining Charter. All the mining companies that are mining illegally - and yourselves as the implementing Ministry and the department - are not doing anything.
This is not the only legal case. The Mining Charter also expired last year, but none of the mining companies have complied with it. We can never agree to this budget because there are so many questions that still need to be answered. Why is the department renewing licenses of companies that are not charter-compliant? Why are mineworkers still living in shacks with no electricity, no water and no sanitation when the mining companies are obliged to provide those? Why are the mineworkers still being paid R4 000 a month? Why are mineworkers the most vulnerable group when it comes to deadly diseases and sicknesses such as TB? [Interjections.]
Why are mineworkers subjected to dangerous working conditions in those mines? Why is the Marikana Report not being released? [Interjections.] Minister, tell the President when you see him,uyasibambezela. [He is wasting our time.] We want that report.
Hon Chair, the main question that we should be asking is this: Why do we have the Department of Mineral Resources when all the laws and regulations that you pass are violated and nothing happens to those who violate them? Until you answer those simple questions, the EFF will never support this Budget Vote. Thank you. [Applause.]
Mr J A ESTERHUIZEN:
Mr M M DLAMINI
Mr J A ESTERHUIZEN: Hon Chairperson, the Department of Mineral Resources, like most other portfolios, is constrained in its development path by the current economic outlook and its associated scarcity of resources. Electricity constraints are a major factor in the retardation of growth in manufacturing and mining and contribute hugely to the current slow pace of economic growth in this country.
It is therefore imperative that our fiscal rebalancing should allow for a wider budget deficit in order to cushion mineral resources from a potentially hard landing if we take factors such as labour unrest, electrical constraints, etc, into consideration.
The 60% real increase in the budget for minerals promotion, allocated over the medium-term under the Mineral Policy and Promotion programme to promote investment in mining and petroleum projects, will greatly assist the turnaround in this sector as most else has failed, with mineral prices at their lowest since 2002.
The government’s recent decision to reopen the debate around the pricing of mineral sales has created mistrust and put its credibility at risk. The mine-gate pricing model amending the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act could just be the kind of deal-breaker that would break the back of the mining industry and kill it off to subsidise manufacturing. This could have the complete opposite effect to what was originally intended, by chocking downstream manufacturing. To take one of the bedrocks of the economy and subsidise another is just not on.
President Zuma clearly communicated that his government was sensitive to the needs of investors; however, by sidelining the needs and priorities of key stakeholders, the government is clearly doing investors no favours.
I heard what the Minister said about Shell Gas, and it is commendable. But the hasty retreat of Shell fracking is symbolic of the loss of business investor confidence in this government’s ability to create a sound system of laws and regulations for South Africa’s mining and mineral resources sector.
I am also happy to hear the Minister mention the better control of mining licences, for it appears that there is no control or accountability regarding the issue of mining licences. The Department of Land Affairs does not know to whom or where in South Africa the Department of Mineral Resources has granted mining licences. About 1 343 were issued in Mpumalanga alone. [Interjections.]
Other questions remain: Why are mining-affected communities being excluded from the Draft Framework Agreement for a Sustainable Mining Industry discussions? Why are the very communities in which these activities take place - and who provide the necessary labour, therefore - being excluded from the talks?
The budget allocated to the rehabilitation of abandoned mine sites, acid mine drainage and even the investigation of such instances is completely inadequate. It should be more. A recent study on the environmental impact of unrehabilitated, abandoned mines highlighted the fact that no measures are currently in place or budgeted for to lessen the environmental and social impact.
In the interests of building a better South Africa, and because of the faith we have in the Minister and the department to successfully meet the above challenges, the IFP supports this Budget Vote. I thank you. [Applause.]
Prof N M KHUBISA
Mr J A ESTERHUIZEN
Prof N M KHUBISA: Hon Chairperson and hon members, this department, like all other departments, has a huge role to play towards economic development in our country. The legislation that governs the function of the department speaks to three major issues; that is, the provision of equitable access to the sustainable development of the mineral resources and related matters, the provision of mine health and safety and the provision of the transparent and efficient regulation of mineral resources and mineral industry.
The budget must, undoubtedly, speak to these three fundamental aspects. The NFP believes that access to mineral resources and a share of these for all South Africans is key to economic transformation in our country. The majority of South Africans are not only yearning for access to the mining industry but also yearn for total ownership. Very few South Africans benefit from the wealth that is generated by and from the mining industry and this is to be the department’s ongoing task - to ensure that this kind of scenario is urgently reversed.
The department has a mandate to strengthen capacity to enforce compliance with conditions that include the maximisation of employment. People must be educated and trained about the mining industry, not only that they must get degrees and diplomas but also skills that will provoke interest and knowledge about the mining industry and its wealth. This would allow South Africans, especially the black majority, to start mining with a view to owning mega businesses in this country and also to generate wealth that benefit South Africans first and eventually turning our country into an economic destination of choice.
The NFP maintains that the wealth of our country is still in the hands of a few people in the mining industry. [Interjections.] Black Economic Empowerment has benefited a few individuals - what we might even refer to as the usual suspects.
The NFP submits, hon Chairperson, that the conditions of mineworkers are still bad. We hope this department will enhance conducting the health inspections and audits and vigorously implement the occupational health and safety strategy in order to reduce occupational fatalities in the mining industry.
Mineworkers’ salaries, houses and recreational and environmental needs are sacrosanct and need urgent attention. Mineworkers must get mining competencies recognised by theMining Qualifications Authority and universities to improve their careers and eventually lead them to understand and know the intricacies of mining wealth ownership.
Diamonds, gold ore and other minerals must be mined and processed within the country. [Applause.]The conditions of people around the mines need improvement and within this lean budget, one hopes that the department will consider these matters because they are pertinent. The NFP has an obligation to see to it that the lives of the people improve on a daily basis. This department can play a major role in this regard. For that reason, the NFP welcomes and supports this Budget Vote. I thank you. [Applause.]
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF MINERAL RESOURCES
Prof N M KHUBISA
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF MINERAL RESOURCES: Chairperson, Minister Ngoako Ramatlhodi, Ministers present, fellow Deputy Ministers, chairperson of the portfolio committee, Comrade Luzipo, and members of the portfolio committee, Nkosi Zwelivelile Mandela and all traditional leaders present here today, leaders of business, trade unions, religious leaders, hon members, ladies and gentlemen, comrades and friends.
Today, 7 May 2015, represents a significant turning point in the political calendar of our country. It was on this day in 1993 that South Africa agreed to multiracial elections and the following year, on 10 May 1994, former President Nelson Mandela was inaugurated as the first-ever democratically elected President of South Africa.
The democratic breakthrough of 1994 came about after centuries of African resistance and rebellion against colonial rule and over 82 years of bitter struggles, led by the ANC with solid support and solidarity from the international community.This freedom was not for free and therefore those of us in whose custodianship the people of this country have placed the revolutionary responsibility and duty to lead must never betray this honour.
This year, 2015, marks the 60th anniversary of the Freedom Charter. The intersection between our 21 years of freedom and the 60 years of the Freedom Charter provides us with a unique opportunity - and indeed a clear paradox that these respective ages of maturity present - for us to acknowledge the challenges that still lie ahead, especially the challenges of persistent inequality, poverty and the high levels of unemployment.
We must therefore work together to accelerate the attainment of sustainable economic growth and the implementation of radical economic transformation that will encompass the beneficiation of our mineral resources and promote industrialisation.
We must also ensure that our people realise the dividends of democracy and freedom as outlined in the Constitution, the Freedom Charter and the National Development Plan. For instance, in the Northern Cape province alone, we possess significant deposits of lime, manganese, diamonds, zinc and iron ore, enough to kick-start industrialisation.
In the North West and Limpopo provinces we have significant platinum and chrome deposits to do the same. In Mpumalanga and the Waterberg, there are massive coal deposits - the list is endless. These mineral deposits also go beyond our borders and into Mozambique, Botswana, Zimbabwe and Namibia. To this end, the Southern African Development Communityheads of state gave us clear instruction to accelerate industrialisation, and we must dojust that.
In our continued determination to ensure that mining companies comply fully with the Mining Charter, the Office of the Deputy Minister facilitated various mining procurement opportunity workshops in places like Springbok, Kuruman, Kimberley and Rustenburg. These workshops were attended by senior mine and procurement managers of major mining companies plus hundreds of established black economic empowerment,BEE, companies.
We were encouraged by the enthusiasm and determination of participants to live the Mining Transformation Charter beyond 2014, thereby promoting local procurement and enterprise development, among other initiatives. We intend to continue with such engagements and wish to thank mining companies for their generous contributions in that regard.
The month of May is also Workers Month. May Day was essentially about international workers solidarity for a shorter working week of an eight-hour day and a 40-hour week over five days. Therefore, we must continuously improve the living and working conditions of workers in this country - and in particular of mineworkers, as provided for in the Mining Charter.
In the period under review, we have also managed to meet with thousands of former mineworkers who have been neglected over many years. We are delighted to report that with the collaboration and support of the Department of Health and the Department of Labour, plus significant contributions by the mining sector and trade unions, we have been able to establish special clinics, known as “one-stop service centres” for formermineworkers in Mthatha and Carletonville. We are planning to open one in Kuruman and another one at Burgersfort in this financial year.
In all these public engagements that we have had, there is somebody I would like to acknowledge here: Mr MatsakaranaMabena. He is an official in the risk management unit of the Department of Mineral Resourcesand has played a very significant role. I wish to thank him and other colleagues for their commitment to serving the people of South Africa. Please give him a big hand. [Applause.]
These clinics provide comprehensive and free medical benefit examination to former mineworkers, medical treatment, rehabilitation and compensation where appropriate. Where there are no specialised clinics as yet, our teams are making various other arrangements with local doctors to carry out these functions.
We have also managed to facilitate the payment of millions of rand to qualifying former mineworkers and their deserving beneficiaries but thousands more former mineworkers still remain untraced. The campaign of tracking and tracing formermineworkers will continue even beyond our borders, including in Lesotho, Mozambique and Swaziland.
Over and above that, our country has legal obligations towards former mineworkers. We also work closely with some mining companies, and the departments responsible for land reform and agriculture, to achieve meaningful economic activity for communities in labour-sending areas and mining communities.
An example of a successful model is the Macadamia Plantation Project in Ncera, where the host community owns 51% and entrepreneurs 49%. This model will be rolled out in the Eastern Cape, Mpumalanga and KwaZulu-Natal. I wish to thank former Minister of Minerals and Energy, Comrade Lindiwe Hendricks, who is in the gallery, for her role and leadership in this matter.
We are investigating similar and appropriate models for the Northern Cape, Western Cape and other provinces, and various plantations like grapes, pomegranates, mangoes and so forth, and former mineworkers are actively involved in these activities.
Ladies and gentlemen, our country has beautiful rocks - beautiful geology - that we are going to be mining for the next 100 years plus. South Africa rocks!
Mine health, safety and environmental protection remain key pillars of our strategy going forward. We have achieved a lot in reducing mine fatalities and injuries over the years but more remains to be done. We are, however, still greatly concerned about the high number of occupational diseases reported by the sector; mainly pulmonary tuberculosis, silicosis and noise-induced hearing loss.
We do encourage the sector to pay special attention to health matters and continue to implement commitments made at the Mine Health and Safety Summit held last year. Environmental rehabilitation and post-mining landscapes remain an outstanding challenge but also a critical economic opportunity yet to be exploited.
The Department of Mineral Resources has a very good facility - Mr Lorimer - in Pretoria, called Kloppersbos, which is currently managed by theCouncil for Scientific and Industrial Research, CSIR. Kloppersbos has played a central role in addressing the catastrophic risk of flammable gas and coal-dust explosions in the central coal basin of Mpumalanga.Today we must strengthen capacity in the now greatly expanded coal sector to address such risks and - should underground mining be undertaken in the Waterberg - ensure that systems exist to minimise such risks.
In our discussions with the science councils, we aim to support the expansion of and the upgrading of the training offerings at Kloppersbos and the reconstruction of the research and development capabilities that enabled the country to successfully tackle explosion risks in the 1990s.
Currently the principal market for Kloppersbos is underground coal mining but it also provides services to a few hard-rock mines, like gold and platinum. It is also apparent that other sectors in which flammable gas and dust explosions are a risk could benefit from this facility.
Through two workshops we have already engaged with the science councils, universities and other research bodies. We are looking forward to also drawing labour and the industry into these discussions. We recognise that the research landscape is very fragmented and that the opportunities to make an impact lie in collaboration and thinking big.
Lastly, illegal mining continues to pose a threat to the livelihood of mining communities while also impacting negatively on the operating mines. Notable strides have been made to combat these activities and the trafficking of precious metals.
We wish to commend the law enforcement agencies for arresting major crime syndicates that are fuelling these illegal activities and call on people to desist from participating in these illegal and dangerous operations. I fully support the tabling of the budget as presented by the Minister. [Applause.]
Ms D CARTER
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF MINERAL RESOURCES
Ms D CARTER: Chairperson, the mandate of the department is to ensure equitable access to and the sustainable development of mineral resources. It must also ensure the transparent and efficient regulation of mineral resources in the mineral industry. The words “equitable”, “sustainable”, “transparent” and “efficient” all relate to democracy and rule of law. However, with corruption as rampant as it is, do any of these words have purchase in our country? Are mining licences available on bribing the political elite? What is the truth behind Gold Field’s bribe of R25 million worth of shares to MsBaleka Mbete? What is the truth? Is that how mining licences are granted by the department? It is time for the truth.
If corruption is the order of the day and the rule of law is debased, it is the hard-working miners in our country who will lose out on income, housing, bursaries, etc. Do the top echelons of the ruling party that ... [Interjections.] ... is making so much noise and will not listen have to be bribed for companies to get licences? In 2014-15, 200 mining rights and permits were granted and issued to historically disadvantaged South Africans. Are the licence holders card-carrying members of the ruling party? Who are they?
The department is mandated to promote decent employment through inclusive economic growth. However, production of gold, for example, which until recently averaged 1 000 tonnes per annum, has now fallen to just above 160 tonnes per annum. In 1993, gold contributed 3,8% to the gross domestic product. Two years ago, this had declined to 1,7%. In 1980, gold accounted for 67% of all mineral sales. Last year, it accounted for a mere 12,5%. What are we doing? Is the government doing enough to ensure that gold mining remains in good health? Is government doing enough to ensure that mining as a whole is promoted to create sustainable jobs? Is the department really fulfilling its mandate? Is this a nice story to tell? No, it is not.
The National Development Plan stresses the importance of a stable regulatory framework in the mining sector. Too many rules and too many uncertainties cause investors to hold back. Many corporates in South Africa are sitting on vast reserves. They are unwilling to invest because of lack of certainty and corruption. Will the Minister tell us exactly how the Department is implementing the NDP? How many decent employment opportunities did the department create? It is time for implementation, implementation! What has it done to create an effective, competitive and responsive economic infrastructure? Stating goals in the Estimates of National Expenditure without achieving those goals is a waste of everyone’s time and effort.Minister, please tell us exactly how the NDP was implemented.
COPE welcomes the SADC collaboration in developing a comprehensive mineral beneficiation action plan to facilitate the expansion of beneficiation initiatives. This is long overdue. We wait to see the outcome. In recent years, we have seen negative growth in mining because of lower investment, lower production and labour unrest. The department must resolve these issues and stimulate growth in the economy. Government needs to create an environment for investors to want to invest in this country in order to create employment and grow our economy.
Chair, first to the Deputy Minister: I just want to set the record straight. If you go to the Portfolio Committee on Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, you will notice that Ncera is such a failure that the Department of Agriculture said it must be closed down. Now, how do you want to roll this out to the rest of the country? Chair, I have said this before and I am saying it again: We have seen so many “-gates” in the past. I am telling you that if we were to investigate, we would uncover “mining-gate”. I thank you. [Applause.]
Ms H V NYAMBI
Ms D CARTER
Ms H V NYAMBI: Hon Chairperson, hon Ministers, Deputy Ministers, hon members, the Department of Mineral Resources, led by the director-general, and distinguished guests, I greet you all. The essence of transforming the minerals and mining sector centres on key policy pillars that have come about as a result of the efforts of the ANC government to transform a sector that historically has been steeped in the influence of colonial production relations and an apartheid political economy that benefited from colonial production relations. Countries that have liberated themselves from the yoke of colonial and narrow national oppression and who are endowed with mineral wealth know very well that on taking power, one of the major challenges that remain is to deal with the entrenched influence of mineral resources on the economy and related mining activities.
The legal complexities of what the ANC government inherited in 1994 in the minerals and mining sector can be found in other African countries who, at the dawn of liberation, had to make strategic and critical choices on how to transform a sector that contributes so much to the political economy of countries endowed with mineral wealth. Our task is to evaluate what still needs to be done and how the actual budget can contribute to the further implementation of policy and regulatory instruments that can transform the minerals and mining sector, with all the contradictions and complexities that go with transforming the this sector.
We are no different, and in this Budget Vote debate we are tasked to evaluate what still needs to be done and how the actual Vote can contribute to the further implementation of policy and regulatory instruments which can transform the minerals and mining sector with all the contradictions and complexities that go with transforming the minerals and mining sector.
In his national executive committee January 8 statement of 2015, President Jacob Zuma acknowledged and stated the following:
The ANC commits itself to continue working with our people to ensure that there is enhanced benefit from this ownership. This year, we must finalise the amendments to the applicable laws to ensure that mineworkers and mining communities share, much more equitably, in South Africa’s mineral wealth.
Nks M S KHAWULA: Sihlalo, …
The TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON (Mrs Y N Phosa): Order! Hon member, take your seat. Hon member, you can continue ...
Nks M S KHAWULA: Ngemvume yakho, bengithi mina ake azame ukukhuluma ulimi lwakubo, ulimi lwala eNingizimu Afrika ngoba akulona izwe laphesheya leli. Badida abantu ngale nto yabo.
The TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON (Mrs Y N Phosa): Hon member, that is not a point of order; it is an opinion. Hon Nyambi, you may proceed. Order!
Ms H V NYAMBI: Hon Chairperson, the goal of this government is to contribute to building a nonracial, nonsexist South Africa. Based on our history, we have put in place instruments to eradicate our inherited legacy and tonormalise society. Within the mining and minerals sector, the transformation process commenced with the development of a White Paper on Mining and Minerals, which was followed by groundbreaking legislation in the form of the Minerals and Petroleum Resources Development Act. This has vested the custodianship of mineral resources in the state. The Mining Charter was developed in accordance with section 100 of this Act and is aimed at ensuring that there is a meaningful transformation of the sector. In this regard, we expect all mining companies to adhere to the principles of the Charter.
It is important to note that one of the objectives of the Minerals and Petroleum Resources Development Act is for historically disadvantaged South Africans to enter the minerals and petroleum industries and to benefit from them. When rights are granted to companies, their obligation is to comply with all the relevant provisions of the Act and any other relevant laws, terms and conditions of the right concerned. Compliance with all the aspects of the Minerals and Petroleum Resources Development Act and the Budget Vote on Mineral Resources must be evaluated within this context, especially over the Medium-Term Strategic Framework.
The Freedom Charter states:
The people shall share in the country’s wealth!
The mineral wealth beneath the soil ... shall be transferred to the ownership of the people as a whole.
This was the ANC’s vision at the dawn of democracy in 1994, as reflected in the Reconstruction and Development Programme, which said:
... We must seek the return of private mineral rights to the democratic government, in line with the rest of the world.
Ms H O MAXON: On a point of order, Chair.
The TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON (Mrs Y N Phosa): Hon member, take your seat. You have been recognised, hon member.
Nks H O MAXON: Bengicela ukubuza ukuthi ilungu elihloniphekile lingawuthatha yini umbuzo?
AMALUNGU: Hhayi, hlala phansi.
Nks H O MAXON: Kahleni, angikhulumi nani nina. [Ubuwelewele.]
The TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON (Mrs Y N Phosa): Order! Hon member, will you take a question?
Ms H NYAMBI: Chairperson, I am not prepared to take a question.
Mr G S RADEBE: Chairperson, may I please address you? In terms of ... [Interjections.]
Nks H O MAXON: Ake uthule Sbu ngisakhuluma.
Mr G S RADEBE: ... the conventions of the House ... [Interjections.]
Nks H O MAXON: Awuthule Sbu.
The TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON (Mrs Y N Phosa): Hon member from the EFF, ... [Interjections.]
Ms H O MAXON: My name is Hlengiwe, Madam Chair.
The TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON (Mrs Y N PHOSA): Hon Hlengiwe, procedurally you are supposed to talk through me. [Interjections.]
Ms H O MAXON: Yes, but this one is interfering. You are supposed to call him to order first.
The TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON (Mrs Y N Phosa): No, you are being disorderly.
Ms H O MAXON: No, I still have the floor, Madam Chair. You do not have to be biased. I am still standing here and then he interferes. So, he is the one who is wrong, not me.
The TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON (Mrs Y N Phosa): Hon member, you are actually disruptive because you asked if she can take a question and she said no.
Nks H O MAXON: Bengivele ngikulindele lokho, Sihlalo, ngoba akakwazi nokufunda inkulumo yakhe ebhaliwe.
Mr G S RADEBE: Hon Chair, may I please ... [Interjections.]
The TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON (Mrs Y N Phosa): Hon member Nyambi, please takes your seat. Iamrecognising you, hon member.
Mr G S RADEBE: Hon Chair, I think you must help us in this House, because in terms of convention, when a member is delivering a maiden speech, that member should not be disrupted. Can you please help us in that regard? Thank you.
The TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON (Mrs Y N Phosa): Hon members, please allow Ms Nyambi to be heard.
Ms H V NYAMBI: Thank you, hon Chairperson. The ANC 2014 election manifesto sets out priorities for government for the next five years, indicating the need to accelerate economic growth along an inclusive and sustainable path, the creation of jobs and decent work and ensuring black participation in the ownership, control and management of the economy. The Mining Charter is an instrument designed to effect sustainable growth and the meaningful transformation of the mining industry. Through this, the ANC aims to facilitate meaningful economic participation of historically disadvantaged South Africans in the mining and minerals industry; to promote skills development; to create employment and advance the socioeconomic welfare of mining communities; to promote beneficiation of South Africa’s mineral commodities and promote a sustainable development and growth in the mining industry. These were addressed through the amendment of the Mining Charter to pave the way for meaningful economic participation by historically disadvantaged South Africans. However, concerns remain over the slow pace in the implementation of the Charter.
Transformation should address fundamental areas that are critical in advancing socioeconomic development and empowering local communities, communities in surrounding areas and employees. Transformation must be broad based and not benefit only a few individuals. This must entail not just participation in shareholding but the trickle-down of cash flow to ensure the sustainability of the transformation agenda. It is very important, hon Chair, that going forward there should be more black people who own and control the means of production,so creating black industrialists who are actively involved in mining. [Applause.] Accordingly, fronting in the sector must be tackled decisively.
We have noted that women employment in the mining industry has improved since the dawn of democracy. However, more still needs to be done to drive women empowerment within the industry. The three-year programmethat the department and the Mining Qualifications Authority are implementing in respect of women artisans... [Time expired.] [Applause.]
Mr S M JAFTA
Ms H V NYAMBI
Mr S M JAFTA: Hon Madam Chair, as one of its responsibilities the Department of Mineral Resources has to see to it that the mineral resources of the country givea maximum contribution to the development of the economy of the country and to the reduction of poverty and unemployment to all those involved in mining and affected by mining so that they benefit from such mining activities.
The issuing of mining licences to mining companies has been the general cry by all local communities visited by the Portfolio Committee of Mineral Resources - communities have no knowledge of how licences are issued. That in itself raised concern and means that greater consultation with the affected communities and stakeholders is required for mining activities to take place, also in the case of those that are already in place.The department itself must be part of such consultations. It should not give mining companies that responsibility alone.
The Department of Mineral Resources must take up the responsibility to conduct workshops for affected communities to also prevent the political influences that usually happen during these processes. As we speak, I am told that this problem exists in the Eastern Cape - in Bizana at Xolobeni. The community is fighting over mining activities there, and this is because people lack information.
It is a bit pleasing, though not completely satisfactory, to notice the growing improvement in mining in respect of mine safety. The same applies to how some mining companies are dealing with the issue of housing for mineworkers, but more still needs to be done. This has been a worrying issue for our communities in the past, when people, especially men, had to work very hard in risky conditions underground,yet benefited little, if at all. Our people were burying husbands, fathers and brothers every weekend.
We have noticed that transformation in most mining companies or in the mining industry as a whole is very slow. The department needs to tighten the screws in this regard and ensure compliance in every aspect.
Having been with the committee on its many oversight visits and having seen its commitment to transforming the mining industry to benefit all South Africans, especially those actively involved in mining, the AIC supports Budget Vote 29. I thank you. [Applause.]
Ms M V MAFOLO
Mr S M JAFTA
Ms M V MAFOLO: Hon Chairperson, hon Minister, hon Deputy Minister, hon members, the department, led by the director-general, and our guestsin the gallery, dumelang [good evening]. It is an honour for me to be given this opportunity to participate in this debate on the Budget Vote No 29 - Mineral Resources.
The 2014 national election manifesto of the ANC made the commitment that strategic minerals will be identified for policy intervention in the manufacturing, energy, agriculture and infrastructure sectors. Active measures will be taken to ensure the security of supply of these minerals to achieve the national objectives such as industrialisation and local beneficiation. We will invest in infrastructure that can unlock the vast mineral wealth of the country, create jobs and support the local beneficiation of mineral deposits for the benefit of South Africans.
The downstream beneficiation of minerals and upstreammineral inputs have been identified as key pillars of South Africa’s reindustrialisation push. Our first democratic president, Tata Nelson Mandela, once said, “It is in your hands to create a better world for all who live in it.”
The creation of decent employment for all South Africans, the elimination of poverty and dealing decisively with the extreme inequalities in our society, democratising the ownership and control of the economy by empowering the historically oppressed Africans - and the working class in particular - is to play a leading role in decision-making. Restructuring the economy so that it meets the basic needs of all South Africans and the people of the region, especially the poor, is the guiding pillar of economic transformation.
The ANC’s 52nd national conference in Polokwane resolved on an industrial policy that called for the structures of production and ownership to be transformed, including through an active and well-resourced industrial and trade policy aimed at creating decent work through the expansion of labour-absorbing sectors, diversifying our industrial and service base, pursuing an active beneficiation strategy, building sustainable export industries and expanding production for domestic and regional consumption. In general, industrial policy should lead our overall approach to sector development, while trade policy should pay a supporting role and be sensitive to employment outcomes.
In order to drive radical economic transformation, the focus in the mining sector will be on increasing investment, transforming the sector and improving mineral beneficiation. Advancing beneficiation or adding value to our mineral wealth is point three in government’s nine-point plan to ignite growth and create jobs.
The Mining Phakisa will focus on mineral beneficiations. The outcomes of this will be used to augment the ANC-led government’s plans designed to unlock investment, enhance the nation’s productive capacity and provide clarity on the roles of the various participants across the prioritised minerals value chains. The current measures will be expanded to attract downstream ...
Ms E N LOUW: On a point of order, Chair?
The TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON (Mrs Y N Phosa): Hon member, please take your seat. Yes, hon member, I recognise you.
Ms E N LOUW: Hon Chair, we would really like to hear what the member is talking about, because I am very interested in nationalising the mines when we take over government. [Interjections.] So, we would like to hear what she is ...
The TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON (Mrs Y N Phosa): Order! Hon member, that is not a point of order.
Ms E N LOUW: But the hon member is reading too fast.
The TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON (Mrs Y N Phosa): Hon member, that is not a point of order. Hon member, you may proceed.
Ms M V MAFOLO: Thank you, hon Chairperson, the mining industry remains the main ...
The TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON (Mrs Y N Phosa): Hon Mafolo, take your seat. Hon member, you are recognised.
Ms H O MAXON: Hon Chair, we must not be read a poem. We are not interested in a poem; we want a speech. [Interjections.]
The TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON (Mrs Y N Phosa): Hon member, take your seat. That is not a point of order.
Ms M V MAFOLO: The South African economy continues to contribute significantly to the socioeconomic development of the country. However, despite this contribution, insufficient mineral value addition is taking place. This is particularly so in respect of fabricated mineral products, leading to the country having to import some of these products rather than manufacturing them locally. The low level of mineral beneficiation in the country denies South Africans the opportunity to aggressively address the developmental challenges relating to the triple challenge of unemployment, poverty and inequality, especially among the youth.
Ms S V KALYAN: Madam, may I address you on a point of order?
The TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON (Mrs Y N Phosa): Hon Mafolo, take your seat. Hon member, you are recognised.
Ms S V KALYAN: Thank you. I rise on Rule 62 in the Rule book. Members are not to read the speech. I would ask you to rule on that. [Interjections.]
The TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON (Mrs Y N Phosa): Thank you, hon members. Order! Hon member, the point of order is not sustained. [Interjections.] The member can read. [Interjections.]
Ms S V KALYAN: Hon Chairperson, may I address you ...
The TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON (Mrs Y N Phosa): Hon member, the point of order is not sustained.
Ms S V KALYAN: Madam, may I address you on the ruling?
The TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON (Mrs Y N Phosa): Hon member, you may proceed.
Ms S V KALYAN: Madam, may I address you on your ruling? I am here. [Interjections.] Madam, it is not for you not to allow the point of order. Rule 62 states quite clearly that a member may not read the speech but may refer to the notes and refresh their memory. The member at the podium is going like a speed train, without even a pause, comma or full stop. [Interjections.]
The TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON (Mrs Y N Phosa): Well, hon member, I repeat. The point of order is not sustained because the Rule use the word “may”, which means she may also read. [Interjections.] The Rule uses “may”. May we allow the speaker to speak? [Interjections.]
Ms M V MAFOLO: If you can’t beat them, join them. [Interjections.] President J G Zuma, in his state of the nation address of 2015, declared this year the Year of the Freedom Charter. The Freedom Charter clause that states that people shall share in the country’s wealth comprises of the following context: That the national wealth of our country - the heritage of our country - shall be restored to the people and the mineral wealth beneath the soil shall be transferred to the ownership of the people as a whole. This was done when all privatelyowned mineral resources were transferred to the state.
Consequently, beneficiation must remain a key and relevant programme for this government, as it seeks to leverage the country’s comparative advantage in mineral resource endorsement to create a competitive advantage for domestic mineral beneficiation. This will play a contributory role in setting the country’s growth trajectory. The NDP outlines “resources-cluster development for the mining industry”. This strategy will combine the production of capital goods for mining with the provision of South African expert engineering services, in addition to “beneficiation that targets identified opportunities”.
We further note that the government adopted a policy position that aims to increase the beneficiation of South Africa’s minerals. Accordingly, the government has undertaken activities that include the development of the beneficiation strategy for the mineral industry of South Africa. This strategy outlines the key constraints on domestic minerals beneficiation.
Re le mokgatlo o o busang wa ANC, re ikuela go baagi ba rona ba Aforika le ba Aforikaborwa gore re dire mmogo gonne fifing go tshwarana ka dikobo, gape mabogo dinku a a thebana. Re dumelana gape gore, sejo sennye ga se fete molomu le hube ga a tshwane le setlhe. ANC e tshegetsa tekanyetsokabo ena. Fa go wena Tona re batla gore, dikoloi tse di emeng di rotelwa ke dintšwa, tse di tsamayang tsona di a e rotela. Ke a leboga.
Adv H C SCHMIDT
Ms M V MAFOLO
Adv H C SCHMIDT: Chairperson, can I just say to the hon Deputy Minister that yes, South Africa rocks but, unfortunately, as my 12-year-old son would say, the ANC government sucks. [Interjections.]
State involvement in the mineral sector is doomed to fail.Alexkor and the African Exploration, Mining and Finance Corporation, which is still affiliated to the Central Energy Fund despite previous undertakings by the Minister to spin it off, are prime examples of government inefficiency and bureaucracy – not to mention other failing institutions such as Eskom, the SABC and SA Airways.[Interjections.]
Despite the Minister’s assertions last year, the proposed State-owned Mining Company Bill has not been tabled yet. This has contributed to uncertainty, in particular about government’s intended role as a referee and a player.Insofar as the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act was intended to transform the industry and to create opportunities for formerly disadvantaged individuals, it is failing. It is indeed re-enriching the few already in power. The department strangely alleges that no figures are available to assess the full impact of the Act. This is a veiled admission of failure by the department, as these figures ought to be available at the drop of a hat.Maybe they are, but it appears that the department may be too ashamed to make these figures known.
With the introduction of the State-owned Mining Company Bill, any intended benefit to historically disadvantaged South Africans will once again be threatened by the state’s direct involvement in the mining sector. Clearly, government needs to acknowledge that the socialist, if not communist, ideas in the State Intervention in the Minerals Sector report of 2010 are doomed to fail. It is not the state’s role to be a miner; it should not have the funds nor the appetite to venture into high-riskmining endeavours that only provide returns many years down the line.
Hon Deputy Minister, Botswana is a totally different issue. It started its mining industry on the basis of a 50/50 venture. It does not fall in towards three-quarters of the mining industry’s historical development. Or does the government intend to exploit the intended social responsibility benefits for its own gain? Listen, it has done so in the past with the deprivation of mineral rights from private owners.
The problem is, hon Minister, where will government stop in its attempt to gain control? Will it stop with a 51% ownership requirement of mines, like in Zimbabwe, or the imposition of “free-carried interest” – read “for nothing” – which reared its ugly head in the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act amendment Bill adopted last year, in a process that can only be described as the biggest shambles in the adoption of any Bill thus far, or possiblyby 100% state-owned mines, crowding out private enterprise?
We need proper legislation, regulatory certainty, as well aseffective and speedy administration by the department, aimed at attracting investors to invest the R1 billion that isurgently required for exploration to unlock South Africa’s US $3,5 trillion value in minerals for the ultimate benefit of all who live within our borders. Thank you.[Applause.]
Mr S L LUZIPO
Adv H C SCHMIDT
Mr S L LUZIPO: Chairperson, Minister and Deputy Minister, members of the portfolio committee, I am so happy to hear you debating like this. I so wish I will see you next time doing it in the same way. Hon members, invited guests, ladies and gentlemen, let me start with the good news, which some people do not want to hear. In the by-elections that were held in KwaZulu-Natal, the ANC has taken the Mtubatuba Local Municipality. [Interjections.][Applause.] Out of 19 wards, the ANC won 12 ward seats, the IFP won seven ward seats, and the NFP were awarded two proportional representation seats. Others in this House are nowhere to be seen. [Interjections.]
Mr M S MBATHA: Chair ...
The TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON(Mrs Y N Phosa): Hon member, take your seat. You have been recognised, hon Mbatha.
Mr M S MBATHA: Chair, the hon member fails to indicate that they were assisted by food parcels. [Interjections.]
The TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON (Mrs Y N Phosa): Hon Mbatha, that is not a point of order. Hon member, you may proceed.
Mr S L LUZIPO: I now understand why someone once said that ignorance is not only expensive but also costly. [Interjections.] In the Morogoro Conference in 1969, under the stewardship of Oliver Tambo, this observation was made by Oliver Tambo:
The art of revolutionary leadership consists in providing leadership to the masses and not just to its most advanced elements. What appears to be militant and revolutionary can often be counterrevolutionary.
During the month of May, we celebrate Africa Day, an event marked across the continent that recognises our collective achievements and resilience. We are Africa indeed.
The incidents of xenophobia that have been seen in recent weeks are therefore unfortunate and regrettable. The mining industry was built on labour sourced not only from South Africa but from other parts of the continent, particularly within the SADC region. They are therefore not strangers in our country. They have lived for decades among us and have been integrated into our communities. The Portfolio Committee on Mineral Resources condemns the attacks on foreign nationals, in particular Africans, and we call on all South Africans to do the same. In the mining industry, we must uphold and ensure that migrant workers are treated the same, with dignity and humanity, regardless of their country of origin.
One of the stalwarts of our movement, Walter Sisulu, passed away in this month, on 5 May 1993. We are indebted to him and many others like him who gave their lives to the fight against racial oppression. We must carry their legacy forward and ensure that this sector, as one of the main contributors to this economy, benefits and changes the lives of our people for the better.
As the Portfolio Committee on Mineral Resources, we have had the privilege of engaging with the department on various occasions. I therefore stand before the House today much more informed than ever before, particularlymore so than a year ago. The Portfolio Committee on Mineral Resources believes that accountability is the distinguishing characteristic of a democratic government. Democracy remains just an idea if those in power cannot be held accountable in public for their acts or omissions. Guided by our oversight responsibilities, the Portfolio Committee on Mineral Resources has scrutinised the strategic plan, annual performance plan and annual report of the department and, as such, is convinced that the programmes the department has embarked upon will improve service delivery for the achievement of a better life for all citizens, in particular among social partners.
As we commemorate 21 years of freedom and democracy, we should not lose sight of the immeasurable contributions made by workers in general andthe working class in particular of this country in building the country’s economy. We should continue to pay tribute to the millions who fought for a truly democratic South Africa. We salute the many who sacrificed so much so that all South Africans could enjoy rights of citizenship in their own country. They understood quite well that workplace struggles cannot be separated from the overall struggle for national liberation.
Hon Minister, we support the department in ensuring that we commemorate and honour the memory of mineworkers who had lost their lives in mining-related incidents and acknowledge the important role that mineworkers have played in shaping our economy as a country.
Although we understand the economic conditions in which the industry operates, we are very concerned about the possible job losses that are currently being projected and, as the committee, we remain open to making our contribution to assist in mitigating against such an occurrence. We therefore appeal to the employers that the practice of retrenching workers must become a last resort, even for them having to sacrifice their own luxuries.
We have taken note of the Estimates of National Expenditure report, which indicates that an additional R42 million was allocated to the department ...
Nks M S KHAWULA: Ake nithule! Ake nithule! Sihlalo,
The TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON(Mrs Y N Phosa): Hon member, you have been recognised.
Nks M S KHAWULA: Sihlalo wami omuhle. Bengifuna ukubuza ukuthi ngabe umhlonishwa uyazibona usekhuluphele kangakanani kusukela ashiya u-Cosatu? Ngiyabonga.
The TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON(Mrs Y N Phosa): Hon member, take your seat. That is not a point of order.
Mr B A RADEBE: Hon Chairperson, on a point of order ...
The TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON (Mrs Y N Phosa): Allright, hon member, please take your seat. Hon member, you are recognised.
Mr B A RADEBE: That member cannot reflect on a physical condition of another member in this House. It is insulting. She must withdraw that, and then she must be taken through the processes. [Interjections.]
The TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON(Mrs Y N Phosa): Hon member, that is unparliamentary. You are requested to withdraw the comment. [Interjections.]
Nks M S KHAWULA: Sihlalo lapho ngaphambili awubatshele bathule. Siyahlonipha sisuka naye e-KZN. Mina ngiyamuncoma ukuthi uyazibona yini manje. Angimuthuki angenzi lutho.
The TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON(Mrs Y N Phosa): Hon member, I request you to withdraw.
Nks M S KHAWULA: Ngiyaxolisa.
The TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON(Mrs Y N Phosa): Thank you very much. Hon member, you may proceed. Order!
Mnu S L LUZIPO: Hayi cha ngelinye ilanga mhlawumbe sizodinga amehlo, angikawuboni umehluko. Isisindo sami ...
... less than I weighed when I was in Cosatu. The allocation will go a long way in ensuring that the department has adequate capacity and skills to ensure compliance with the relevant Acts.
Uzosibuyisa engithi isikhathi sami Sihlalo?
In South Africa, mining takes place within communities and largely on communal land. There are current regulatory frameworks that place an obligation on mining companies to convert or upgrade hostels into family units and facilitate home ownership.
One of the important issues to note is the fact that we have had a decrease in fall-of-ground and transport accidents. There has been a 22% and 44% reduction in the number of actual fall-of-ground and transport fatalities respectively.
Looking at the work of the entities ... [Interjections.]
The TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON(Mrs Y N Phosa):Order! Hon member, take your seat. Hon member, you are recognised.
Ms E N LOUW: Chairperson, there have been previous rulings in this House that gestures are not allowed. A member from that side is pointing at Mama Khawula here, illustrating that she is going to do this and do that. [Interjections.]That is not allowed. I do not care how they are howling. I don’t take this as a joke, and I will never take it as a joke. That proved possible in this Parliament - we were beaten up here by the police. [Interjections.]Do not dare make gestures like that![Interjections.]
The TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON(Mrs Y N Phosa): Hon member, I know that offensive gestures are not allowed, but I did not see that. I take note ... [Interjections.] No, it is all right. I take note of your request that we ask members to behave or conduct themselves in a manner that will maintain the decorum of the House. So, hon member, you may proceed.
Mr S L LUZIPO: We are pleased to note that the Council for Geoscience continues to focus on research activities that will attract investment into the exploration sector.
As the committee, we have noted progress being made by Mintek in developing innovative technology for transfer to the industry. The SA Diamond and Precious Metals Regulator continues to play an important role in increasing growth and in the meaningful transformation of the diamond and precious metals industry through the issuing of licences.
In conclusion, in order to improve on its licensing mandate through transformation, the SA Mineral Resources Administration System must be able to deal with the beneficiation of ordinary South Africans, in particular those who have been historically disadvantaged. South Africa is a country that has a bad historic past,where the majority had been denied participation in the economy, in particular mining, except for being labour under inhumane conditions that resemble slavery. We must encourage employers to not just comply with the 26% requirement for historically disadvantaged South Africans but rather to improve on it on a voluntary basis.
We also want to appeal to the department to delay no longer the issue of the Women in Mining strategy.
As the ANC, we are mindful that,while willing and committed to work with all those who want to take this country forward, there will always be those who will rely on political scavenging, believing that they will feed on the dead carcass of the ANC. [Interjections.] Some will present themselves as post-apartheid revolutionaries, disguising themselves as militant and radical when their agenda is the same as the regressive white liberals. Such misguided and uninformed militants provide us with new ideological and political dimensions. It is just a political cocktail and an ideological movement where you cannot find the head or the tail. The agenda of this is much better explained by the late former President Nelson Mandela, who said:
... the high-sounding principles enunciated by the Liberal Party, though apparently democratic and progressive in form, are essentially reactionary in content. They stand not for the freedom of the people but for the adoption of more subtle systems of oppression and exploitation. Though they talk of liberty and human dignity, they are subordinate henchmen of the ruling circles. They stand for the retention of the cheap labour system and of the subordinate colonial status of the non-European masses ... whose class interests are identical with theirs. In practice they acquiesce in the slavery of the people, low wages, mass unemployment, the squalid tenements in the locations and shanty-towns.
That is not me; that is Nelson Mandela, whom they claim to love so much, in his article, “The Shifting Sands of Illusion”. [Interjections.][Applause.]
For those who continue to project themselves as super-revolutionaries with supreme militancy simply because they want to remain in the limelight and occupy the positions of leaders because they could not accept being led by others, the late former President Nelson Mandela also took the time to very patiently explain to the people never to be deceived by political demagogues when he wrote:
The struggle that will free us is a long, hard job. Do not be deceived by men who talk big with no thought for tomorrow. Freedom is not just a matter of strong words. Neither is it simply brave men and heroic deeds. Impatience, which makes men lose their heads, will not bring freedom.
He then continues to say that we should not listen to people who “talk the loudest and think the least; they say one thing and mean another. Revolution is serious business.”[Interjections.]
As the ANC, we are now convinced in this House of what a man once said, namely that if you put a belt this side, it will come to this side. [Interjections.] If you look on the ultra left, it is much closer to the ultra right. Therefore, it is not surprising to see what is here – the cozy relationship that you see. [Interjections.]
On that note, I hereby support the tabling of the budget and move that it be adopted. Thank you very much. [Applause.]
The MINISTER OF MINERAL RESOURCES //Mia (Eng)// VW// (Zul)
Mr S LUZIPHO
The MINISTER OF MINERAL RESOURCES: Thank you, Chair. Let me start with the issue of environmental fires on the mines. I commit myself to going there and seeing for myself what is happening there. [Interjections.]
An HON MEMBER: Can I give you directions?
The MINISTER OF MINERAL RESOURCES: I would really welcome that. [Laughter.] Secondly, I appreciate those who have supported this Budget Vote and I express my most heartfelt gratitude.
On the issue of Aquila Resources - let me come back to it – I found that the matterwas complicated in the sense that the licence was issued on top of an existing licence. So, I had to have a meeting, including with the president of a Chinese company called Baosteel, which is the new owner of the mine. I followed up on that matter. We are working on it and I am hoping that we can find asolution that is acceptable to all parties. I will not go deep into the details ofthis matter.
On the issue of the school that the EFF commander-in-chief is attending, we encourage young people to go to school.[Laughter.] So, that is a very positive development. [Interjections.]
Ms H O MAXON: I rise on a point of order, Chair.
THE TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON (Mrs Y N Phosa): Hon Minister, please take your seat.
Ms H O MAXON: I think I should rise on a point of order regarding what the Minister said: There is no “young” leader here. He is our leader. He is our commander-in-chief and the president of the EFF, Minister, please! [Interjections.]
The MINISTER OF MINERAL RESOURCES: We encourage the leader of the EFF to attend school and the members of the EFF to do the same ... [Laughter.] ... as we did - some of us - in our time. [Applause.]
We are dealing with the electricity issues – power shortages – in the country. Regarding infrastructure, we are spending more than R3 trillion to make sure that we create at least the physical infrastructure to enable the environment so that mining can take place in a sustained way.
The issue of host communities were mining is taking place is a very important issue. It is central to our approach as we deal with the new situation in our country. By the way, when there is supposed to be a transfer of ownership one way or the other - from one owner to the next - they have to apply through section 11, which we use to insist on ensuring that the footprint on the ground is firm and solid. There is no way that we can continue to allow a situation which does not take social licence into full account.
In addition to the licence that we issue as the department, we want the communities themselves to have the feeling that they are benefiting directly and immediately from operations in their environment. You would know that mining is very intrusive. It is extremely intrusive and this includes the fact that it affects the quality of life of the people who live where these operations are happening.
So, what we are saying is this: As we issue new licences, we prefer a situation where the social labour plans of the mines are aligned with the local government regime in the areas of operations. This is so that if someone wanted to give the community a clinic, whereas the most critical thing that the community needs is in fact water, then they must get the water instead of the clinic. We want that alignment with communities into the future. [Applause.]
We are also saying that where mining is taking place, we want children to be trained to participate in a very meaningful way in the mining operations. We also want to ensure that when the mining activities end, that life goes on in that area the day after. That brings into focus the issue of beneficiation.
We are looking at creating special development zones in various areas where mining is taking place. We are definitely ensuring that we give people the skills in that regard. We want the beneficiation to happen exactly where mining is taking place and encourage that process to unfold through the special development zones. We are hoping that through these initiatives we will be able to produce black industrialists.
Last week, at the SADC summit, the heads of states and governments met and agreed on a strategy for industrialisation based on the resources that are found in our localities. I am sure that the Department of Mineral Resources will come on board in that regard and support this, as directed by the heads of states and governments.
Ladies and gentlemen, it has been a pleasure to listen to the debate. Let us keep the spirit. We are here to debate. Thank you very much. [Applause.]
THE TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON (Mrs Y N Phosa): Thank you, hon Minister, for closing the debate.
The Committee rose at 18:40
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