ATC151015: Report of the Select Committee on Land and Mineral Resources on the oversight visit to the North West Province, dated 13 October 2015

NCOP Land Reform, Environment, Mineral Resources and Energy

Report of the Select Committee on Land and Mineral Resources on the oversight visit to the North West Province, dated 13 October 2015  

The Select Committee on Land and Mineral Resources, having conducted oversight in the North West Province, from 18 – 22 August 2015 reports as follows:


1. Background and Introduction 


  1. During the National Council of Provinces’ (NCOP) strategic planning session held in 2014 and revised in 2015 where public participation was identified as one of the key focus areas of the Committees. It was therefore decided that the Committee would identify departments with public participation challenges and conduct oversight in the affected provinces with the aim / objective of gaining first-hand knowledge / insight to the challenges being experienced.


  1. In a number of recent reviews with regards to legislative processes of the NCOP, as well as through feedback received at events such as TPTTP, it has become evident that there is a need to increase the level of oversight performed with particular focus on public engagement processes. The committee is interested in visiting the Regional offices of the Department of Mineral Resources in all of the provinces as it had received/become aware of a number of complaints with regards to the amount of public engagement that takes place during permit application processes governed by the Department of Mineral Resources. The permit applicant is responsible for the consultation process, although it has to provide evidence to the Department that it had consulted with all interested and affected parties following the prescriptions of the Department in this regard. Oversight will therefore require consultations with the Regional Office of the Department as well as with interested and affected parties that have raised their concerns.    


  1. In order to ensure that Committees are afforded the time and opportunity to do this, the NCOP set aside the week of 18 – 22 August 2015 for oversight activities. These four (4) days were to be shared by two committees, as the Committee shared its membership with the SC on Communication and Public Enterprises. The committee therefore used 19 and 20 August 2015 for activities associated with the SC on Land and Mineral Resources. 


  1. The current issue at hand in the North-West Province relates to a perceived lack of public consultation during the permit application process and/or decision making processes by the Department during the review of the permit application. A second matter raised is also related to the Department’s management of mining licenses. In this instance, the Social and Labour Plans of mining companies where criticised for doing very little in the form of sustainable development and job creation in a municipality where mining activity has had significant infrastructural, environmental and socio-economic impacts.  The committee was therefore interested to travel to the province in order for the Department to brief them on the operations and challenges of its regional office in the relevant Province, and then to travel to a community where there is reports of unhappiness with regards to the degree to which they have been consulted with regards to the development of prospecting/mining activity which would affect their environment, livelihood and quality of life. The committee held a public hearing with affected parties in order to develop a greater understanding of the issues at hand in order to determine how the NCOP can assist the Department, community and/or the Province with reaching an amicable solution to the contested mining proposal / development.


  1. The delegation consisted of the following members of Parliament, Mr OJ Sefako (Chairperson, ANC), Ms E Prins (ANC), Mr AJ Nyambi (ANC), Mr JP Parkies (ANC), Mr N Singh (ANC), Mr EM Mlambo (ANC), Mr CFB Smit (DA), Ms B Masango (DA), Ms MA Kakgosi (EFF)  and Parliamentary support staff, Mr AA Bawa (Committee Secretary), Mr J Jooste (Researcher), and Ms A Zindlani (Committee Assistant). 


  1. The aim and objective of the oversight visit was to conduct oversight over the Department of Mineral Resources and its regional offices manages mining applications, prospecting and mining operations and the implementation of Social and Labour Plans at provincial level through its Regional Offices. Even though the department therefore does not have any provincial government representation, the Regional Offices are vital in managing the activities of mining companies, as well as being responsible for the engagement of interested and affected members of the public and communities. Past submissions to the Committee, as well as member input during Strategic Planning sessions have highlighted the need for provincial-level oversight of Regional Offices in order to investigate the manner in which these offices of the National Department are performing with regard to their mandated responsibilities. This visit will be conducted in order to receive a detailed briefing of the activities of the North-West Regional Office, as well as to investigate recent reports of a specific case where concerns have been raised with regards to proposed mining activity in the province. The Select Committee on Land and Mineral Resources (previously Land and Environmental Affairs) does not have significant previous oversight experience with regards to the Department of Mineral Resources and Regional Offices have been identified as a logical focus for the Committee. It is the intention of the Committee to perform oversight over each Regional Office during the 5th Parliament in order to allow members to engage the DMR, as well as to familiarise themselves with the role of the regional offices. This trip was also meant to be part of the induction programme of the Committee, as all Committee members were new to the Portfolio.


2. Meetings and Site Visits


2.1. Presentation by the Madibeng Local Municipality (MLM)  

The Madibeng Local Municipality is located in the Bojanala Platinum District Municipality within the North West province between the Magaliesberg and the Witwatersrand mountain range. The name is derived from the area’s resources that characterise the natural beauty of an area which encompasses the Hartbeespoort, Rooikoppies, Vaalkop and Klipvoor Dams, all of which contribute to the area in terms of tourism.

The Municipality is demarcated into 31 wards of which 10 fall in the urban areas (Brits, Hartbeespoort and Skeerpoort) and 21 in the rural areas and villages. It includes approximately 43 villages and 9 000 farm areas. Madibeng is centrally situated (approximately 50km from Pretoria, 55 km from Johannesburg and 60km from Rustenburg).  

The meeting was chaired by the Deputy Speaker of the Provincial Legislature, Executive Mayor of Madibeng Local Municipality and the Chairperson of the Select Committee on Land & Mineral Resources.

The presentation by the MLM highlighted all the mining houses within the municipality, breaking this down further to illustrate which mining houses were/are within which wards and the supposed SLP projects of these mines. The presentation further informed the meeting that in an attempt to better relations with the various mining houses and actively participate in drafting and implementing the Social Labour Plans (SLP’s) of these mines the municipality, in December 2014 formerly launched the Madibeng Mining Forum (MMF) which was endorsed by the local council and the DMR. The presentation did however highlight that although collaboration and regular scheduled meetings were held, the implementation of SLP commitments and projects by certain mining houses was still a major concern. The MLM stated that although development of the municipality is a municipal mandate, this responsibility could be shared with the mines if they would include and implement in their social labour plans projects such as;

  • Revamping of municipal and national roads;
  • Improving services in formal and informal settlements such as electricity supply, high mast lights, water supply, storm water drainage, and sewage systems;
  • Addressing / Assisting with the high youth unemployment rate, especially in areas surrounding various mining operations; and
  • Local economic development projects for both poverty alleviation, income generation and job creation.
    1. Challenges and constraints highlighted by Madibeng Local Municiaplity

The MLM further, highlighted certain challenges emanating from within the mining industry, such as:

  • Mining companies not complying with or changing the conditions of their SLP’s;
  • Labour immigration – where mining houses are employing from outside of the municipality (which creates a situation where informal settlements mushroom and put immense pressure on municipal infrastructure); and
  • Illegal Mining – different construction soils are illegally mined without any control measures in place.  
    1. Engagement with the Municipality


The municipality, during its engagements with the delegation, councilors and departmental officials emphatically stated that the current method of dealing with the mining houses is outdated and that a new approach forcing mines to properly structure and implement SLP’s has to be developed. The MLM reconfirmed their commitment to the process, stating that they have ensured that all SLP’s now form part of the municipal IDP’s but that it remains meaningless if good relations are not fostered with the relevant mining houses and the Department of Mineral Resources. The municipality informed the visiting delegation that the biggest challenge is that most, if not all, SLP’s are developed and agreed upon without the presence of municipalities and when mining houses are approached, municipalities are informed that they have no role to play in the drafting of SLP’s. The municipality also stated that they are often not informed about SLP projects, or when these are implemented. Not having any input in the development of SLP’s result in projects being implemented that do not address immediate challenges experienced by the municipality, creating a sense of missed opportunities and mis-directed financial investment within the municipality.


The MLM further stated that mining houses often deviated from their approved SLP’s (stating that permission was granted), without informing municipalities and also not following the Mining Charter. The municipality stated for the record their concern and disappointment with the absence of the DMR, stating that the department only makes an appearance when mining permits are up for renewal. The MLM also raised concerns pertaining to the implementation of projects agreed to in the SLP of the mines, as most of these implementation meetings are held behind closed doors between the mines and the DMR. The needs of the community at large are never considered, never approving projects required by the community but rather projects agreed to between the DMR and the mining houses.           


  1. Recommendations made by the Madibeng Local Municipality


As a way forward, the MLM proposed the following recommendations;


  • Formalisation and legal recognition of Mining Forums;
  • Membership of all relevant identified forum members be compulsory;
  • Local Mining Forums should be given more powers to monitor and control SLP’s;
  • Communication between the mining houses & government should be channelled through the authorised mining forum;
  • Powers of the Traditional Councils and communities next to the mining houses be clearly defined; and
  • All other committees outside the recognised mining forums, must report to the mining forum.    
    1. Presentation by the Regional Office of the DMR


The DMR regional office for the North West Province was situated in Klerksdorp and known as office 56. The presentation of the DMR gave a breakdown of the Klerksdorp total staff compliment as well as applications received by their office from 18 April 2011 to date. The DMR explained that they went back as far as 2011, as this was the time when all applications were done electronically, making it easier to manage, track and finalise. The presentation highlighted the public participation process followed once a Section 10 notice is issued which is a public document, created by the DMR when they have issued an instruction to an applicant to proceed with a public participation process. A section 10 notice tells you who the applicant is, what the applicant wants to mine, what locality and properties fall under the application and what date comments are due and where comments are to be sent to. The presentation also highlighted affected communities and the various districts these communities resided in, explaining what the specific challenges within these communities are.  


The DMR further explained that since 2011, they had received the following;


New Prospecting Rights

Mining Permits

Mining Rights

Prospecting Rights Renewals

Total Applications













The DMR presented that the four mining houses are located within the Madibeng Local Municipality (MLM) under the Bojanala District Municipality (BDM) and that the MLM is comprised of urban and rural villages led which led by tribal authorities, with the main authority being the Bapo Ba Mogale, comprising of 8 villages. The mining commodities found within the municipality include platinum, palladium, granite, vanadium and ferrochrome.


The department explained that under the current economic climate, some mining houses have indicated that their operations were facing operational challenges and that as a result, Lonmin has announced the downscaling of 6000 jobs, with Hernic Ferrochrome putting its underground mining operations under care and maintenance affecting 420 employees and Elands Platinum whole operation to be placed under care and maintenance will see a further 918 employees jobs affected. Despite the challenges experienced by the mines, the DMR reported that the mining houses have an open dialogue and working relations with relevant external stakeholders, including Local Municipalities and Tribal Authorities. The presentation further explains that the mining companies are also part of the mining forum which holds monthly meetings with the MLM and Tribal Authorities, with the DMR also being represented at this forum. The DMR also highlighted community issues that cut across all mining communities such as ownership and royalties, employment, community development projects and procurement issues. The most vocal communities raising these issues were the Mmakau, Krokodilkraal and Uitvalgrond communities who have lodged complaints with the DMR against the Elands Platinum and Vametco Minerals, with the relevant interventions having been put in place to address the matters.            


The DMR presentation further explains what the each mining house has done in terms of human resource development, local economic development and housing and living conditions of its employees. This data was later disputed by various external stakeholders during the public meeting held by the municipality, with the delegation in attendance.  


  1. Engagement with the Regional Office of the DMR


During discussion, the MLM stated that although the establishment of the mining forums, created through council regulations, have created a platform for dialogue between the municipality and the mines, laws should be amended to compel local government involvement, especially so that by-laws could be enforced and integration of SLP’s and local government LED and IDPs can be achieved. The matter of traditional leaders was also raised by the municipality, stating that traditional leaders should be consulted more often and that communities and community leaders should not be undermined and taken for granted. This contradicted what was presented by the DMR.


During discussions, councillors present accused the department of undermining the local municipal structures, accusing the department and mining houses of meeting with higher bodies (such as the District Municipality) and creating friction between the local municipal structures and the communities. During this engagement the dispute over ownership of land between the CPA and communities was also highlighted, with the DMR also being accused of giving / conceding mineral rights without ensuring that proper consultation processes were followed by the mining houses.   


On the proposal of a member of the delegation and seconded by all present, engagement with the officials from the regional office of the DMR was suspended as they were not equipped to provide answers of clarity to questions put forth by those participating in the meeting. It was agreed that the DMR’s presentation should be accepted as is, but that the Parliamentary delegation should take up the matter with the relevant minister, since the presence of junior officials to receive, brief and respond to questions of a Parliamentary delegation was unsatisfactory.   


  1. Issues raised by the Parliamentary Delegation


The delegation informed the meeting that the purpose of the visit was not to play “big brother” and pronounce on events that occur and affects the MLM, district as a whole. The general consensus amongst all delegation members was that the DMR was undermining the delegation by not ensuring that senior officials were present during the delegation’s visit as correspondence had been forwarded to the office of the Minister, Director – General, as well as the Parliamentary Liaisons Officer long in advance.


The delegation felt further aggrieved when the officials from the department’s regional office appeared to be completely unprepared in presenting their document in the meeting, only to inform the meeting that they were unaware of the delegation’s visit to the region and that they were only informed on the day the delegation arrived in the province. Delegation members therefore agreed not to entertain any responses from the DMR officials present, but rather to direct the questions to the Minister and Director – General when the delegation takes up the matter as to why the delegation was being undermined and treated with such disrespect.


The issues that the delegation did raise during its engagement with the municipality, DMR and councillors were;           


  • Legislation – The delegation suggested that after the oversight visit, the Select Committee on Land & Mineral Resources should look at current legislation regulating the mining industry and see how amendments could be made to assist municipalities with challenges that they are experiencing when engaging the various mining houses. The delegation further suggested that the DMR brief the Committee on all legislation that governs the mining industry and.     


  • Lack of proper statistical data – The DMR was also criticised for the lack of statistical data on women working in the mines, complaints of women in the mines and failed projects. The delegation stated that these were the kind of issues the department should be raising so that the Committee could better understand the complexity of these issues and assist where possible. The department was also asked to provide data about the approval rate of all applications submitted (broken down in their categories) to the DMR.               


Social, Infrastructure and Economic Development – The Committee acknowledged with concern that data, presented by the department, was disputed by councillors and the municipality. Information that was disputed pertained to the establishment and implementation of projects, building of roads and other infrastructure projects as well as skills development of employees, especially the youth. Once again the data presented by the DMR pertaining to the above was disputed by external stakeholder.                    


  • Inter-Governmental Co-operation – The delegation agreed that a need for better inter-governmental co-operation existed as this will clearly define the role of provincial government and the role played by the various Provincial Portfolio Committees. Members of the delegation reiterated the need for information sharing as it was the only through which the Committee could verify statements made during inter-governmental engagements through site visits by the Committee, confirming facts on the ground.


The delegation further stated that it was this type of interaction and information / knowledge gained that could and would assist the Committee in drafting amendments to legislation such as the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act.       


2.2. Site Visits at the Hernic Ferrochrome and Eland Platinum Mines  


  1. Visit to the Hernic Ferrochrome Mine


The Hernic Ferrochrome mine was established in May 1995 and is situated in Brits, in the North West Province. The main / core business of the mine is chrome ore mining and the smelting of ferrochrome. During their presentation, the mine management explained that the production capacity of the mine is 420 Kt per annum with 163 Mt of Ore reserves left. The mine has another 50 years left of its lifespan. The company informed the delegation that they have acquired an additional 3 new order mining rights valid from 2006 and 2012 until 2036 and 2042 respectively. The mine reported that in 2003, they had 387 employees and 518 contractors and that at the end of July 2015 the mine had 675 employees and 1190 contractors.


2.2.2. Fundamental Challenges highlighted by the Hernic Ferrochrome Mine 


During its presentation to the Committee, the mine highlighted the following as their main challenges, namely: 


  • Ferrochrome prices has decreased by more than R 12 000 / ton since 2008;
  • Eskom annual increases above the inflation rate over the last five years have increased the electricity costs of the mine by more than R 1 Billion rand which is equivalent to the actual cost of mining the ore;   
  • Direct and indirect labour costs account for almost 20% of the mine’s production costs. Labour demands have also impacted negatively on profit margins;
  • The weakening rand has allowed the mine to counter some of the cost inflation pressures; and
  • The mine has been in a loss making situation since 2009; and therefore has to rely on shareholder funding.


2.2.3. Projects highlighted in the presentation by the Hernic Ferrochrome Mine


During their presentation the mine highlighted the following projects and their current status;



Molelwaneng Primary School in Lethabile

Renovation of 10 classrooms

Establishment of food gardens

Refurbishment of the computer centre and donated computers


R 661 784

Implemented Successfully







Brick making Project in Brits

Empowered 12 potential entrepreneurs (5 females and 7 males)


R 1 400 000

Challenges:   Entrepreneurs aptitude.

Market Exposure – economic conditions prevailing during 2009/10

In 2011, disagreement between project beneficiaries led to project collapsing.







School Water Project:

Tlhopane Primary School

Polonia Primary School

Mmakau Moemesie Primary School


Various Communities benefitted from the installation of water tanks.  


R 2 800 000

Implemented Successfully







Phakamile Horticulture Project

Bokfontein informal settlement community benefitted from a vegetable farming project. 


R 1 868 506.75

Challenges: Entrepreneurs aptitude, despite training interventions paid for by the mine.

Lack of commitment from beneficiaries.

Project ceased to exist by 2014.








Damonsville Clinic

Damonsville community benefited from the clinic.

To be Spent

R 1 000 000


Delays caused by the Madibeng municipality infrastructure department.

Community disagreement about who should be appointed as the contractor.

Dispute was however resolved and project implemented.

Date of completion is envisaged to be the end of 2015.







Bokfontein Multi-Purpose Centre

Bokfontein community will bebifit from the Multi-Purpose Centre.

Project Value:

R 6 000 000

Key Challenges:

Bokfontein is yet to be formally declared as a township.







2.2.4. Comments made by the delegation


The members of the delegation questioned why the mining company was not willing to give the local community land owned by the mine for them to expand their communities, instead of giving them a 5% subsidy when buying a plot of land to build on. Seeing that the mine has made huge profits of the very land that these communities have lived all their lives.


The delegation further requested the mine to forward a report detailing what criteria that was used in awarding bursaries, what bursaries were awarded and whether or not recipients of these bursaries ever completed their education at the various tertiary institutions. The issues that were of concern to members of the delegation was that not one of the projects listed by the mine in its presentation was known by the Committee. There were also questions asked regarding the fact that mines supported the construction of schools in labour-sending areas but not within the municipality where the mine is located.


2.2.5. Visit to the Eland Platinum Mine


Members of the delegation again felt undermined by the DMR, when the mine management informed the delegation that no site visit was arranged as DMR informed the mine about the delegations visit the day before. The mine further confirmed that they were not aware of the public meeting being held the following day and that their presence was required. With no site visit being arranged and the absence of officials from the DMR, the delegation decided to cut its visit short.   


2.3. Key developments and outcomes emanating from the public hearing


2.3.1. Mining Charter impact and the integration of Social and Labour Plans with municipal IDP


On the second day of the committee’s engagement with the Department of Mineral Resources, a public meeting was held in Madibeng in order to allow interested and affected parties to raise their concerns, complaints or suggestions regarding mining activity within the municipal boundary. A complaint from members of the public was raised early on in the meeting – that the gathering was not properly advertised and that the public was poorly informed about the reasons for the meeting. The organization of the meeting was the responsibility of the municipality, thus it was not an error that could be anticipated. The delegation did provide sufficient briefing at the onset of the meeting in order to focus the input provided on the objectives of the meeting, at which point input was received from members of the public. A second challenge experienced during the visit was that the municipality did not supply the requested translators for the meeting.


A final concern worth noting, which has occurred at other oversight events is that members of the public referred to past meetings with similar goals to allude to the fact that they do not expect anything substantial to result from the meeting. This sentiment will persist unless government (local as well as provincial) initiates follow-up engagements to show a commitment towards resolving the grievances raised during this and previous meetings.   



2.3.2. Main outcomes of the meeting


  1. While the Department of Mineral Resources (via its national structures as well as the regional Office Management) had presented a noticeable number of Social Labour Plan (S&L) projects for the mines in the municipal boundary, the socio-economic impact of the projects appear to be relatively limited. This statement can be expanded to include a number of components that will be expanded on in the full report, but it is worth mentioning:


  1. The impact of S&L Plans on employment in the municipality;
  2. The degree to which S&L Plans integrate with municipal IDP and LED needs;
  3. The impact that mining activity has on community economic activity and property.
  4. The lack of procurement from local entrepreneurs as a method of LED support.
  5. The challenges faced by disabled individuals and those without a Grade 12 certificate to find employment in mining companies.


Additional concerns raised:


  1. Community members from West-Madibeng stated that there is no library in the area and that some schools are standing empty. It was suggested that these school(s) should be re-developed as skills development centres.


  1. A notable challenge was noticed in terms of Inter-Governmental Relations (IGR). In particular, it became obvious that there was room for improvement in terms of collaboration between the DMR and the local and district municipal structures. The most obvious area where this disconnect was observed was in terms of the support of municipal LED and the integration of S&L Plan interventions with the municipal IDP.
  2. The municipal initiative to initiate a Mining Forum with relevant stakeholders was supported, but it is experiencing some challenges with regards to its functioning. During the public engagement, changes to the stakeholders of the Forum was suggested. It was also suggested that members of mine labour unions and the leadership of affected communities should also be an integral part of the Mining Forum. In terms of the participation of the DMR, it was stated that the decision making leadership of the DMR should also attend the forum, not just junior officials.


Additional concerns raised:


  1. Members of the public expressed a desire to be part of the drafting of, and have greater insights into what has been committed to in mine Social and Labour Plans. The mining forum is an ideal platform from which this information sharing exercise can take place. Current legislative requirements, however, does not require greater input from members of the public during the drafting of Social and Labour Plans that what is being drafted at present.
  2. The mining forum can also be used as a tool to resolve challenges experienced by communities stating that the DMR are actively preventing mining companies from assisting with funding for projects. The DMR was not requested to respond to this allegation directly, but it is assumed that if such actions did occur, it had to be related to mine social and labour plans.


  1. Mining activity is not contributing significantly to the financial viability of the municipality, and does not provide adequate support for infrastructure development and maintenance projects, even though these companies are major users of municipal infrastructure such as roads. As an example, the municipal expenditure on road maintenance was cited. Total capital expenditure has increased dramatically since the advent of mining, without any capital support coming from mining companies.


Additional concerns raised:


  1. Some mines have been operational for over 40 years (Ward 32 raised as example) without the roads in the area being tarred, even though the mining companies are heavy users of the road infrastructure.
  2. The residents of ward 32 also complained that they do not have a multi-purpose centre within the area, even though mining companies develop similar centres in labour-sending provinces.


  1. The population growth in the municipality has resulted in the mushrooming of informal settlements and the amount of people resident in the municipality is significantly pressurizing the social service capacity of the municipality. Mine S&L Plans are not aimed at targeting the municipality’s main IDP challenges, thus not alleviating the pressure caused by population growth. This creates the impression with members of the public that Social and Labour Plans are operated more as a “hand-out” than a socio-economic development tool.


Additional concerns raised:


  1. Communities surrounding many mines are still struggling with basic services, stating that there is no or only rudimentary sanitation and electricity/water supply.


  1. Mining has a significant impact on community social structure, future expansion opportunities and agricultural self-sufficiency.  Mining activity close to settlements further create air pollution and damage to property. There are currently very little if any focus on remedies for these impacts in S & L Plans.


Additional concerns raised:


  1. A community-based organisation claiming to represent 9 communities with 13000 members, stated that their agricultural capacity has diminished as a result of mining, with mining causing significant land degradation and mine rehabilitation not done properly.
  2. The settlement of Damonsville is completely surrounded by land owned by mining companies, making expansion impossible. Parts of the settlement is contested by land claims, leading to fears of eviction. Community members accused mining companies of being unwilling to sell land to the community or the municipality in order to allow expansion of the settlement, although the companies were accused of negotiating the sale of some of the land to Chinese investors. No further details surrounding this statement was provided.


  1. There is a perception with members of the public that the DMR, through the implementation of their mandate, are siding with mining companies and are therefore disadvantaging the citizens of the municipality with decisions that are implemented.


Additional concerns raised:


  1. Regardless of the size of the mining operation, public consultation prior to the commencement of mining is questioned by members of the public. There were frequent claims of a lack of consultation with them prior to the commencement of mining/quarrying. The requirements for consultation is clearly communicated in legislation, but at present, the traditional leaders of communities are often consulted, and not the whole community. Disputes over the legitimate leadership of communities further complicate the consultation process.
  2. It was stated during the meeting that communities are misled by statements from mining companies regarding the focus of their Social and Labour Plans, resulting in members of the public feeling misled. They state that much development/opportunities are promised by companies that never materialise.
  3. Consultative processes are allowed to be influenced financially, which causes conflict within communities. This has a destabilising influence on the community.

2.3.3. The way forward as proposed by the community


A large volume of information has emerged during the consultations of the 19th of August. It must be stated, however, that at this point in time a large volume of what is recorded in this summary are one-sided accounts of a very complex challenge. Should the committee members wish to respond to any particular point raised in the meeting, further research and input from stakeholders will definitely be required.


2.4. Recommendations


It is important to focus the Committee’s way forward on the matters at hand starting with the most critical actions. The committee’s mandate, derived from the mandate of the NCOP calls for a focus on:


  • Improving the functioning of IGR;
  • Improving and expanding public engagement opportunities; and
  • Legislative oversight.

The Committee would schedule a follow-up visit to the Madibeng Local Municipality in order to verify the status and impact of mine Social and Labour Plan projects and housing developments. In light of the current weak performance of the mining sector, the visit can also gauge the capacity that SLPs have had to develop alternative sustainable income for mining communities


Additionally, the Committee resolved as follows:


  1. Assisting in improving the relationship between the Department of Mineral Resources, the provincial government and municipal authorities. The most critical outcomes of such an improved relationship will be:


  1. Improved linkages between S&L Plans of mining companies and the IDP and LED strategy of municipalities
  2. Improved functioning of the Mining Forum


  1. A volume of evidence has emerged from this and other oversight/committee briefing events suggesting that there is room for a critical review of the current legislative environment regulating mining and exploration permits in order to assess potential shortcomings as highlighted by the community. The degree to which mining companies engage with communities, assess the environmental and community agriculture impacts of mining activity, the rehabilitation of mined areas and the impact of mining on municipal infrastructure are all aspects causing concern at present. Areas for potential review include:


  1. The amount of autonomy given to mining companies to manage the application and public engagement process;
  2. The consultative process;
  3. Regulations pertaining to environmental and agricultural impacts, as well as mine rehabilitation;
  4. Improved inspection and conflict resolution mechanisms to prevent mining activity severely impacting on community property and livelihoods.


  1. Expand this exercise to include the remaining Regional Offices of the DMR in order to determine how wide-spread the issues observed during the visit to the North-West Province are in the rest of the country. This will add to the volume of evidence required to critically assess potential shortcomings of the current legislation.



Report to be considered.



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