Hansard: NA: Mini-Plenary 2

House: National Assembly

Date of Meeting: 07 Mar 2024


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Watch video here: NA: Mini-Plenary 2



Members of the mini-plenary session met on the virtual platform at 14:00.

The Acting Chairperson Mr Q R Dyantyi took the Chair and requested members to observe a moment of silence for prayer or meditation.

The Acting Chairperson announced that the virtual mini-plenary sitting constituted a meeting of the National Assembly.


Mr N T MKHATSHWA: House Chairperson, hon members and citizens of South Africa, good afternoon. We must note with great sadness the passing of David Nxumalo, a student who was shot
in a crossfire in Braamfontein and wish Dimpho Mosia, a student as well, speedy recovery. Such violence in student communities speaks against our mission to one day remove the gates that surround our institutions of learning and do away with institutions existing as ivory towers in our communities.

We must collectively fight against the scourge of crime and various social ills in our country so that the young and old, woman and men, and everyone who exists in between, can walk the streets of our country freely, without fear. This must start in social institutions, like universities, which are microcosms of our society.

Hon members, it is unfortunate that we bring this report to the House so long after the oversight. Nonetheless, the matters in the report are important for us to share with yourselves. Chairperson, in January and February 2023, the committee embarked on an on an extensive two-week-long oversight, visiting over 22 sites, being five TVET Colleges, seven universities, one CET College, one seta-funded training facility and nine science and innovation facilities.

With these three minutes - now one-and—a-half minute left - there is no ways I will be able to take you through the entire
report, but I do encourage members to read the report. I would like to highlight the following relating to infrastructure, in particular. The higher education sector is rapidly growing with an increased demand for access to education as young people increasingly qualified to  institutions of higher learning.

This government has intentionally responded by injecting over R480 billion in learning and culture to expand access to education through the infrastructure development of workshops, lecture halls, student accommodation and so forth. With this investment, construction mafias and syndicates have also come to the rise, placing the lives of principals, vice chancellors, chairs of council, students, staff and officials at risk, like we have seen, particularly in KwaZulu-Natal.

These construction mafias stifle the delivery of infrastructure for teaching and learning and they forced the sector to divert funds towards security when we could be using that resource directly for teaching and learning. I am glad to hear that there has been some progress made in that regard, but there definitely needs to be increased government interventions to address these changes.
Hon Chair, I must close by expressing how inspiring it was to witness some of the great innovations young scientists and researchers are bringing to the fore, from KwaZulu-Natal all the way to Thohoyandou. The hope that we saw in Vhembe TVET college, with many of the young people leaving the institution with adequate skills, as well as owners of businesses, is the kind of hope that we want to see evoked in young people. There is much more that we would like to share, Chair, but these three minutes are definitely not enough. I thank you, House Chairperson.

Declarations of Vote:
Ms K L KHAKHAU: Thank you, House Chair. House Chairperson, The oversight visit showed us very clearly that TVET colleges in this country are treated like unwanted stepchildren with poor funding for basic necessities, such as Wi-Fi, workable and disability friendly infrastructure, backup generators to save students from the enemy of all our progress that is load shedding and safety for in and around campuses to protect us from being raped and murdered by today’s modern-day vultures, let alone up-to-date in labour market relevant curriculum for academic offerings such as mechatronics.
Chippers and mechatronics students with an updated curriculum would be able to land job opportunities that will enable them to design, build, operate and maintain machinery with electronic and computer control systems such as aircrafts, robots, motor vehicles, cameras, power generators and mining and chemical plant machinery. All these skills are necessary, given that: One, South Africa is lagging way behind the global fourth industrial revolution trends; two, load shedding continues to prove that South Africa is thick within an energy and power generation crisis; three, mining contributes nearly 60% of South Africa’s exports.

See, one would imagine that in a country where seven out of 10 young people are unemployed, where we have nearly three-and-a- half million young people aged between 15 years and 24 years, who are not in employment, education or training, this government would concern itself with reforming the curriculum for such academic offerings and securing the future of South Africa.

Instead, Minister Nzimande’s Department of Higher Education refused to do this on multiple occasions. On this oversight, we learned from a lecturer of this study offer, at the Capricorn TVET College in Limpopo, that not only is the
curriculum outdated, but that the machinery used to teach this offer is also outdated.

On the same day, the leadership of this department told us that they have done an audit of the curriculum and that it is fine. In at least two other separate committee meetings, the same department maintained its unbothered position on the matter, all while the Minister did not even begin to bother himself with responding to my letter, dated 7 February 2023, where I requested him to take this matter seriously and intervene as a matter of urgency.


Le kajeno, ha ho na nko e tswang lemina!



See, the problem is that not only does the ANC not care about the future and success of South Africa, but Minister Nzimande is an incompetent Minister. The NSFAS challenges I identified on this NSFAS got worser and worser every month, since, across the entire country. Of course, it is not shocking to us that Minister Nzimande is one of those accused for allegedly chowing funds that were meant to fund poor students who, without adequate state funding, would not be able to secure a
fair shot at putting food on the table for themselves and their families.

So, I maintain, House Chairperson, that President Ramaphosa has a clear choice to make between championing the best interests of students and the future of South Africa or championing the interests of a syndicate of corrupt politicians and their cronies. I say to him, President, choose students - choose the future of South Africa! Fire Minister Nzimande with immediate effect.

However, unfortunately, this can only bring a temporary political solution to the problem, because the rot in NSFAS and DHET is taller than Minister Nzimande. We need more than just cutting off the head of this department. We need a solution that will ensure the uninterrupted and sustainable funding of student fees, accommodation and allowances.

What does that solution look like? One, it starts with a skills audit of all employees in the sector and the replacement of unqualified cadres with qualified non- politically appointed employees; two, it includes the investigation and prosecution of all acts of corruption and fraud in the sector; three, reforming NSFAS and creating a
sustainable funding environment, in partnership with the private sector; four, decentralising the administrative function of NSFAS to institutions of higher learning; five, scrapping the blanket accommodation cap; six, a free market, regulated by the Competition Commission for private student accommodation providers; and seven public-private partnerships for student accommodation.

These solutions will deliver us out of the shambles plaguing this NSFAS and DHET. They will rescue students and the future of South Africa. They are the reasons why I am registered to vote and will be voting for a DA national and provincial government, this year. So, I call on every young South African to please join me in doing the same. On 29 May 2024, we will vote for DA-led government and rescue ... [Inaudible.] [Time expired.

Mr M SHIKWAMBANA: House Chair, before we can even start with anything, we would like the people of South Africa to know the type of people they have elected into position of responsibility. We have a Minister in the Department of Higher Education when every time he is being asked questions, he just find a way of being dramatic and never answer any questions
that is being directed to him, and the Chairperson allows that to happen.

We are here today to adopt the report of commitment made last year to our students. If we are to go back and check what has been successfully delivered and achieved from those commitments, we will find that there’s nothing that has been achieved. Every year, the Portfolio Committee on Higher Education conducts and oversight beginning of the year. The Department of Higher Education, institutions of higher learning, and entities such as National Students Financial Aid Scheme, NSFAS, will always claim and present a good story on how they are ready to face the new academic year, every year.

The portfolio committee will, on its oversight visits, identify a number of deficiencies and shortcomings. Make a recommendation to the department, as usual, nothing will happen. The Department of Higher Education is under a serious leadership crisis. There is no leadership in this department. In fact, this department is led by a Minister who does not know what to do with it. The only thing Minister Blade Nzimande knows better is not answering questions when asked, and corruption at best. You will then have the real and only Tintswalo by the name of hon Letsie who will make sure that he
defends him in public and also in this House, and privately come and say to us you were correct, the Minister does not have directive.

In this report, among other recommendations, speaks of the following: The department working together with municipalities and universities, Tvet colleges, must find a sustainable way of addressing the challenges of load shedding, given that it interrupts the smooth process of teaching and learning.
Nothing was done because as we speak now, we still have the same challenge of loadshedding affecting our institutions. The department, working together with the local municipalities, universities, Tvet colleges, find an alternative way of ensuring sustainable water supply to the institutions. Nothing happened as well. We will know because we are faced with this crisis also, particularly in the province of Gauteng.

The department should engage the Department of Basic Education to ensure that matric results are received on time so that the institution can proceed with their planned activities for the new academic year without any hindrances. This did not happen as well, as the beginning of this year we saw 278 matriculants who have applied on time being returned at Motheo Tvet college in the province of the Free State, simply because they
received their results made and the college was nearing closure of the registration process.

Therefore, as the EFF, we reject this report, and we are calling for the immediate removal of Blade Nzimande from office. For all those years as Minister, he has done nothing to transform and change this department. In fact, what we know now of this department is nothing but corruption and continuous mismanagement of the state resources. We call on all South Africans on the 29 May this year to make a right choice by voting this corrupt government out and voting the new government of the EFF. The EFF is the only organization that will usher in free, quality, decolonized and well- resourced education.

We say to the young people of South Africa, now is the time, the time is now, where we need to take decisions by ourselves and remove this government because the ANC care less about the future of the country. The government that cares about the future of the country will make sure that they provide a basic and highly qualified education to all our people. So, it is surprising when the chairperson of the portfolio committee comes here and wants to embrace Vhembe Tvet college and some of the things that they have done in terms of the skills. But
go or let us today now go Vhembe Tvet college in Tshisimani campus, there are no infrastructures there. There is nothing happening there.

The ACTING HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr Q R Dyantyi): Hon member, your time has expired.

Mr M SHIKWAMBANA: The buildings have collapsed. There is nothing happening ... [Inaudible.] ... The students are studying ... [Inaudible.] ... in buildings where ... [Inaudible.] ...

The ACTING HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr Q R Dyantyi): The member’s time has expired. I now call on the IFP.

Mr M SHIKWAMBANA: ... [Inaudible.] [Interjections.] ... Thank you very much, Chair.

Shikwambana, you are not going to repeat that.

Dr W J BOSHOFF: Hon Chair, at the beginning of last year, when it was very, very hot, we toured KwaZulu-Natal and Limpopo with a tie and a blazer just like now, and that had been an
experience on its own. Now, what we met there were good experiences, bad experiences, informative experiences, and impressive ones.

I want to start with the good. What is very good and really pleasing to see is where funding is used optimally. Actually, one would say maximally. They did more with the money than one would have guessed. The one is the diamond cutting college, a private college being funded by Sector Education and Training Authorities, Setas, and the one experience I’ve had which made me believe that Setas might actually do a very good job. That is when they have the correct partners. The other one is the Vhembe Tvet college, which integrates with the community and with the local economy and really produce something extraordinary in that regard.

Also, at the University of Venda, there’s a microbiology laboratory which I think exceeded most members’ expectations. Then the University of Mpumalanga, which is new and excellent, was worthwhile and really to be commended.

On the other hand, the bad experiences, I would think the top one was the Mangosuthu University of Technology, which had been under administration, once again, at that stage, and
where bad maintenance of buildings really caught the attention. It was even worse than one would have expected.

Hon Yabo introduced us to the different concepts between public servants, which are actually the people in charge of the university and public representatives which had been us. That it is important that we as public representatives serve the interests of the public.

Then we had informative encounters. College at Bushbuckridge and also at Capricorn, which was basically what one would have expected, a little bit under resourced, a little bit outdated but with dedicated staff. Then, impressive at the University of KwaZulu-Natal where we met with the indigenous knowledge system which aims to test indigenous knowledge with modern or with western technology and evaluation to see what can actually be scientifically proven. All in all, a very good experience, and something that one would for always remember. I thank you.

Ms J S MANANISO: Chairperson, let me start by actually addressing the issue of hon Shikwambana and actually disclose to the country that the EFF has never attended any oversight. So, we are not surprised that they are rejecting the report.
The ANC fully support the report put forward by the portfolio committee after conducting oversight visit at higher institutions in KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo and Mpumalanga and the Department of Science and Innovation projects in these provinces.

We made strong recommendations to the department during our oversight. We effectively monitored and evaluated infrastructure maintenance in almost all the institutions ...

The ACTING HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr Q R Dyantyi): Hon Mananiso, just pause. I see a hand. Just pause there. Hon Shikwambana, what is that hand for?

Mr M SHIKWAMBANA: House Chair, I think hon Mananiso just misled the country also to say the EFF has never attended any portfolio committee. It is misleading. She must correct that. [Interjections.]

AN HON MEMBER: You have not attended an oversight.

The ACTING HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr Q R Dyantyi): Hon Mananiso, please proceed.
Mrs E N NTLANGWINI: But what’s this screaming? What’s this screaming?

Ms J S MANANISO: Thank you, Chairperson. As I ... [Interjections. ...

AN HON MEMBER: Invite Blade to the portfolio committee meeting.

Ms J S MANANISO: Chairperson, as I indicated, we effectively monitored and evaluated infrastructure maintenance in almost all the institutions we visited. It is important to note that we identified development delays caused by the lack of the technical capability to plan, budget and maintain infrastructure on campuses.

As part of our recommendations, we emphasize the need to monitor the maintenance plans of institutions in KwaZulu- Natal, Limpopo and Mpumalanga. Additionally, the Department of Higher Education and Training to inspect this maintenance plans in the sector frequently. There are still problems with student accommodation in some institutions due to lack of enough beds, which negatively affects student livelihoods.
As the ANC, we also emphasize the importance of identifying public buildings that can be converted for student accommodation and for institutions to engage with key stakeholders, the Department of Public Works and institutions developing their residences.

The government has prioritized and committed to providing additional capacity and support to Tvet colleges, to manage infrastructure development programs and ensure they efficiently use and account for the capital infrastructure and efficiency grant.

Our priority is to ensure that Tvet colleges are institutions of choice among the youth. Hon members, it is important to monitor NSFAS, and the department is doing that continuously and they are visiting institutions. Neglecting to do so, we can realize a severe impact as we have seen with issues such as delayed payments and other challenges during registration processes. Our oversight is a way of intervening and engaging with stakeholders in the Post-School Education and Training, PSET, sector and the Science and Innovation Sector to assist in resolving different challenges.
We found transformative development, such as support provided to more than 100 SMMEs that are owned by women, by the technology station programs. The Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research, CFIR, Biorefinery Industry Development Facility, and ... [Inaudible.] ... Development Facility and have demonstrated the capability of our state and institutions, and urgently on increasing research development investment towards a low carbon economy.

We support this report as the ANC because it entails key recommendations for all institutions. It is our hope that these issues will be addressed with urgency they deserve. Hon Chairperson, I think hon Khakhau was misled because today it was about adoption of this particular report, not any other issues, as she did in terms of speaking about the Minister. I thank you.

Debate Concluded.



Mr M J WOLMARANS: Hon Chairperson, despite the implementation of the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act, MPRDA in 2004 and a concerted effort to amend it in 2008 and 2013, South Africa’s mining industry continued to perform poorly in terms of investment attractiveness and policy certainty.

The climbing investment attractiveness and the reduced policy certainty in the mining industry had coexisted with the regulatory and legislative gaps of the MPRDA. As such, the MPRDA Review Summit was inevitable because the current regulatory and legislative provisions in the Act require significant rethinking to include largely recent changes in the mining industry and the heightened impetus towards climate change mitigation.

Some of the notable changes in the mining industry included the widespread illegal mining and tailing dams, the setting aside of the Mining Charter’s key provisions of empowerment by the Gauteng High Court, the neglect of environmental liability by mining companies and the rampant double granting of mining rights, especially amongst traditional authorities and the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy, DMRE.
In turn, the committee felt the urgent need to participate in the review summit, which was previously the only preserve of big mining houses to propose the best mechanisms to address changes in the mining industry in the hope of reverting transformation and economic prosperity in the industry.

Although of course the regulatory and legislative gaps took centre stage at the MPRDA Review Summit, all stakeholders inclusive of the committee acknowledged the socioeconomic transformation in the mining industry and it was evident everywhere, but it was particularly noted that around 72 000 mine workers were women with some holding executive positions in big mining companies, whilst a sizable number of black people became captains of the industry, illustrating black ownership of mineral prises. All these were attributed to the MPRDA.

However, this did not negate the attempts to review the Act to pursue a sustainable growth path premised on redressing a growing imbalance between socioeconomic transformation and disinvestment, as well as policy uncertainty in the mining industry.
As such, all the relevant stakeholders who participated succeeded in making recommendations that balance the public and business interest in the mining industry. The committee also in that way was supporting and is supporting the recommendations as the concrete ideas rather than wishful thinking when the summit proceeded. Thank you, Chairperson.

Mr M G MAHLAULE: Chairperson? Chairperson? Chairperson?

The CHAIRPERSON (Mr Q R Dyantyi): Just a pause hon Lorimer. I see the hon Mahlaule.

Mr M G MAHLAULE: My sincere apologies, I had my hand up. I just to correct on record that we are not dealing with the report on the oversight visit, we are dealing the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act Review Summit and not what you have indicated. Just on record Chair so that we do not confuse the speakers. Thank you.

Mr J R B LORIMER: House Chair, this is on a different report on a process that lacked credibility. What was the summit for? Apparently, the views expressed at the summit will form part of the process to review the MPRDA legislation. The review which we are told will still happen as an undetermined date.
There was even the view expressed that the summit would be a festival of ideas conveying the impression that everything was on the table. But little could be further from the truth.

What we had in this review summit was the Minister and to a lesser extent, his department, telling attendees about their programme and what they wanted to be their programme in the future. The meeting then broke up into groups to discuss aspects of the mining issue. The reporting from these groups and ignored inputs did not conform to what the Minister had said and issued this report, which is a poor reflection on what went on.

This report is intended to give the impression of consultation and consensus, whereas in fact such consensus does not exist. Let's look at what Minister Mantashe said he wants. He opened the review with the speech about people being shut out of mining by the previous government and about how local communities need to be involved in mining operations. Quite right on both counts. But he neglects, as always, to ask how, and at what cost? Transformation is what he emphasises, and that's true and advertised. That's what this government is interested in when it comes to mining, but that's all it's interested in.
The ANC is not primarily interested in the growth of the industry in increasing the number of jobs in mining or even increasing the tax receipts from mining companies. No, they're primarily interested in black ownership of mines. That means a very specific interpretation of black ownership that we have come to see benefits just a few connected people.

The fact that that shuts out the good that expanded the mining industry could do for black South Africans or all South Africans in terms of the numbers of people employed or in terms of benefits from a government that is not constantly out of money, that is ignored. In other words, it's not for the people, it's for the concerned comrades.

The other side of the coin is that the more the ANC concentrates on forcing racial ownership of mines, the less investable our mining industry becomes. Just go and talk to somebody who's trying to raise money to open a mine. You can't raise money. Why not? Because any investor will have to give their money away to favoured comrades. And there's also the additional risk that the government will change the rules halfway to demand more.
And there was the Minister's other obsession with what he calls value added local beneficiation, which is really a variation of the same theme. Local procurement sounds good, but the reality of it is that it raises costs for mining because mines cannot buy from the cheapest supplier and many suppliers become mere middlemen taking a cut. It's a policy that has benefited only local elites.

It has made new investment in our mining industry less attractive and has opened the door to construction mafias and all the many versions of them. Through it all, of course, is the Minister blaming the mining industry for failing to transform adequately for going to court where his party seeks to expropriate their assets. It doesn't take a genius to see. But blaming investors for your problems is hardly likely to attract more investors. Those are the ANC's obsessions.

We've grown used to them for the past 30 years. Those 30 years under ANC stewardship, mining output declined by an average of 0,4% every year. So, it's not working. The ANC's response, as always, is to do more of what is not working. We should be discussing what stops our industry from attracting new investment.
Five years ago, the Minister said we'd attract 5% of world expenditure on mining exploration, but in that time our share has declined to less than 1%. That's the problem. The problem is not too little racial transformation. The problem is declining investment, aging mines and a declining future.
That's what we should be talking about. Those who tried to talk about the barriers to growth of our mining industry at the summit were ignored. We can see that from this report. It's as if they don't exist.

An echo chamber is where what you say is repeated back to you. That is the story of this review. The Minister and the ANC made inputs and surprise, surprise, what the review finds is in support of those inputs. This report is what the department and the ANC want to be the situation. It does not record the real situation. As such, we will not support it.

Ms M MAKESINI: Chairperson, the EFF condemning the strongest term the deceptive and picture of the transformation and progress in the mining sector. We stand firm in our ascension that the mining industry remains entrenched in its exploitative practice with little regards of the genuine transformation or empowerment of black South Africans.
Firstly, we must address the issue of black economic empowerment codes as measurement of transformation. Despite the MPRDA’s intention to track the black ownership and participation in the mining sector, the reality on the ground tells a different story. Black ownership representation in management positions in the mines remain powerful and adequate with little progress made since they establishment of this MPRDA.

The promise of the inclusive growth and economic empowerment for historically disadvantaged South Africans remains elusive. The lack of progress in achieving genuine transformation and empowerment of historically disadvantaged South Africans underscores the enduring legacy of apartheid exploitative economic system.

There is a chronic information gap on the allocation of the budget and how it's spent on women in mining hence true explicitly and outlined the amount budgeted for the value of money. Secondly, we highlighted the glaring and non-compliance of social labour plans in the mining company. The plans meant to benefit the community affected by the mining operation are often disregarded leaving the community without essential infrastructure and non-compliance under the MPRDA further
exorbitant of the problem, allowing mining companies to operate with impunity at the expense of local communities’ wellbeing.

Clewer in Witbank is a classical example of neglecting of social labour plan that is clearly a dead document at this regard with impunity. The EFF has written statement on this issue to the Minister of Mineral Resources and all those statements fell to deaf ears. The people of Clewer still reside in the deplorable tracks houses and adequate mining at their doorstep, again disregarded and neglected for preconditions and commitment set out in Social and Labour Plans, SLPs for the mining rights.

Lastly, we addressed the issue of procurement on tenders emphasising the need for transparency and accountability in the awarding of contracts. The tender processes in the mining sector undermine the efforts towards the transformation and perpetuate the culture of corruption and cronies.

The EFF stands firm on its condemnation of the MPRDA that at to attempt the white wash off exploitative practice of the mining industry. We declare unwavering commitment to prioritise the interests of the people over the profit. And we
will for with urgent attention address the systematic injustice impunity that is happening in the mining sector. Instead, we demand accountability, transparency and the genuine effort towards the inclusive growth that has ... [Time expired.]

Prof C T MSIMANG: Hon Chair, the IFP welcomes the proactive shape this summit took with the ... [Inaudible.] ... indications to dignitaries, heads of industries, trade unions, and key stakeholders. As we have always called for public private partnerships and engagement, finally, it seems like our advice is no longer being ignored. In 2021, South Africa’s mining industry contributed approximately R219,5 billion to our GDP. However, the industry has been in a slow state of decline. Therefore, it is safe to say that this industry needs to be regulated by sound legislation that fits into the current South African context and it doesn’t make allowance for any form of ambiguity.

Hon chair, far too often we have seen the chaos caused by outdated and ... [Inaudible.] ... legislation and the devastating effects it can have. From discussions surrounding the review of these Acts, it has become quite clear that since its inception adequate implementation was severely lacking.
One such an example is the fact that the last time South Africa accounted for more than 5% of the mining sector’s global exploration budget was in 2004, after which it steadily declined falling below 1% in 2020 and remain stuck there ever since.

The implementation of the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act with the noblest intent to address historical and racial inequalities in mine ownership has been marred by the current government’s insistence ... [Inaudible.] ... The IFP supports the Report. Thank you.

Dr W J BOSHOFF: Hon Chair, what we read in this Report is everything that is wrong with the South African mining scene if you look at it. Let us start by comparing the title with the content. The title is: A summit on the Mineral Petroleum Resources Development Act.

Now, one would expect some reflection on why there is no or very little investment especially foreign investment in South African mining and why South Africa is ranked as one of the worst investment countries, but no. We rather just mention it in talking and during the discussion and then start to talk all about transformation. So, the decision apparently is, we
have followed a policy for some years which has clearly not worked and then we will do more of the same. We also start by blame shifting.

The problem with South African mining is the split to port structure which was inherited from the previous government. However, the previous government and even further back had created industries like Iscor, Eskom, Sasol, the whole aluminum smelting at Richards Bay. The aluminum smelting is also in Polokwane. The Pietersburg refractories, the now Polokwane refractories. All defunct and all stopped working, why, because of that policy and, of course, global developments. Nevertheless, we failed in really taking the global change of scenery into consideration and responding to it in an appropriate way.

In the last ten years there was basically an explosion of manganese and iron ore mining in the Northern Cape. Now, no beneficiation is down there. My information is that basically all these new mines started with black empowerment companies who gave the permission to mine the manganese, but then if they don’t have the funds, the funds are advanced by Chinese companies. They want that all just as it is because they want to have the jobs in China not in South Africa. This split to
port structure was not inherited by the ANC, it was created by the ANC. That is a problem with mining in South Africa. I thank you.

Ms N P TYOBEKA-MAKEKE: Chairperson, the ANC supports the Tabling and adoption of the Report of the committee on the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act of 2004 review summit. Indeed, South Africa’s fiscal policy is directly independent on the sustainability of high mineral taxes and royalties from the mining industry. Indeed, the mining industry plays a critical role in driving structural transformation and inclusive economic development in line with the ANC-led government’s policy imperatives.

However, there have been questions about whether the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act, MPRDA, was currently generating an environment conducive enough to provide foundations for structural transformation and inclusive economic development? Reflecting their detailed views, all relevant stakeholders at the reviews summit concluded that the current regulatory and legislative gaps in the MPRDA were diverting the mining industry from efforts needed to sustain structural transformation and inclusive economic development.
It was due to the inherent regulatory and legislative gaps in the Act that illegal mining and tailing dumps as well as noncompliance with environmental liability and social and labour plans, SLPs, has historically emerged. In response to the inherent gaps in the Act, all relevant stakeholders made remarkable and groundbreaking recommendations, comprising but not limited to affecting a better signage between the MPRDA and the National Environment Management Act, Nema, to strike a balance between the need for sustainable development and environmental protection, as well as considering the role of renewable energy and green alternatives in the Act as part of the dedicated focus towards decarbonisation.

The ANC encourages the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy, DMRE, to expeditiously implement these recommendations as it firmly believes that they would reverse the growing trend of disinvestment and investor uncertainty in the mining industry and their direct and indirect impacts of South Africa’s slow economic growth and mass unemployment. More importantly, the administrative capacity and capability required to address the inherent gaps in the Act are not beyond the preview of the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy as the department has demonstrated the competency
needed to amend the Act through the introduction of the Upstream Petroleum Resources Development Bill, UPRDB.

The Upstream Petroleum Resources Development Bill seeks to open huge opportunities in the petroleum industry. Whilst all relevant stakeholders have been confidently advocating for the implementation of their proposed recommendations, we must ensure that the MPRDA is not redesigned in a manner that allows industry interests to trump public interest. In short, we must not view giant mining companies through rose tinted sunglasses.

In both theory and practice, giant mining companies are the proponents of the shareholder visualisation corporate governance strategy which encourages companies to distribute large profits as dividends to payouts and interest payments to shareholders and institutional investors to the detriment of the reinvestment into productive capabilities in the South African economy. Relevant stakeholders are ... [Time expired.]
... to this practice. Thank you, Chairperson.


Debate concluded.


Mr S LUZIPO: The Acting House Chair and hon members present in the platform, I’m tabling on behalf of the Portfolio Committee on Mineral Resources and Energy, the oversight visits of the portfolio committee in the North West as well as in Gauteng.
It is important to note that that report is because of the recommendations that were made by the three committees investigating oversight, which is that of the Portfolio Committee on Mineral Resources and Energy, Portfolio Committee on Home Affairs, as well as Police. Those three committees tabled the report, and, in the report, outlined specific recommendations that required some of them a follow-up by the respective portfolio committees, hence the oversight visit to the North West.

It is important to note that amongst other things that we have observed was the lack of proper co-operation, especially amongst the law enforcement agencies, as well as the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy officials. Included there also is the issue of the stakeholder interaction and it is on those bases that as a portfolio committee we made
concrete proposals that around that issue there is a need for a frequent engagement and to improve relations between the law enforcement agencies as well as the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy.

With regards to the existing structures, of which some of them where a threat or a ... [Inaudible.] ... of crimes that are being committed, we recommended that with regards to those structures there is a need to ... [Inaudible.] ... those structures and ensure that the areas are properly rehabilitated so that there are no possibilities of illegal mining activities taking place.

We have also raised concern about the lack of resources, especially in terms of financing the interventions that are supposed to be made, as we have made, and further recommendation that part of this exercise beside involving police and also in welcoming the intervention that includes South African ... [Interjections.] ... the National Treasury, which is the Department of Finance, must also form part of the interventions that are being made.

With regards to issues that relate to what we would prefer to call it informal mining activities, particularly those who are
trading without the required mining permit or mining right, we have recommended that the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy must fast-track the process of artisanal and small- scale mining, regarding ... [Inaudible.] ... situation.
However, also a need to reinforce personnel in the regional office so that the proper and frequent interventions and investigations can take place. With regards to ... thank you. [Time expired.]

Mrs C PHILLIPS: Acting House Chair, the Democratic Alliance accepts the report of the oversight visit. However, we feel that the report does not go far enough in reflecting the total chaos created by illegal mining. The report also does not reflect my name in the delegation list. I was present on all the days the oversight was conducted. Unrehabilitated mines that are now ownerless and or derelict are pinpointed throughout three reports as one and the majoring enabling factors of illegal mining, both in gold and chrome mining areas. From all the open trenches holes and overgrown piles of overburden rehabilitation is clearly not happening and unlikely to happen in the Witrantjies oversight area and also in other areas where chrome outcrops of a mine illegally.
It is both irregular and irresponsible to grant a mining right without knowing who or which company will do the actual mining, or what their capacity is to ensure that the mining is carried out safely and responsibly. The granting of these mining rights to traditional leaders and then the informal transfers claimed by the department raises the following questions: Were the mining rights in the Witrantjies area registered in the Mineral and Petroleum Titles Registration Office? Section 11(1) of the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act clearly states that a prospecting right or a mining right may not be ceded or transferred. Yet, this is what is happening in the Witrantjies oversight area with the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy official unashamedly admitting on site that they cannot advice SA Police Service, SAPS, which areas are being mined illegally.
It’s this a case of incompetence on the part of the Minister and his department, or is it a well thought out strategy of site payments by the ANC to carry favours with the traditional leaders in the area?

When mining permits are granted to people or companies who do not have access to enough funding and expertise, or who choose not to rehabilitate the area before declaring bankruptcy, the rehabilitation of the mining and with the process area becomes
a burden to the state and to the taxpayers. Even more concerning law-abiding citizens who live in areas where there are abandoned mines that have been taken over by illegal miners do not ... [Inaudible.] ... secure going about their daily lives. Children attend a creche in Atok on the ... [Inaudible.] ... that is precariously teetering on the edge of an illegal open cost hole where crime is being illegally mined. Taxpaying citizens are forced to drive on roads that have been damaged so badly by trucks conveying illegal mine chrome that in many cases it’s safe just to drive on the side of the road than to actually drive on the road.

Mining permits need to be considered very carefully and not just granted in a desperate bid to tick the mining development box. The practice of even considering prospecting and mining permits in natural biospheres such as the World Heritage Magaliesberg Biosphere site need to be stopped immediately.
Many of these applications offering ... [Inaudible.] ... minerals with little or no chance of responsible commercially viable mining taking place. Yet, this prospecting in mining opens the door for illegal mining to flourish. The recent arrests of hundreds of illegal gold and chrome miners is very encouraging, but the fact that many of the people arrested were released without charges being laid is extremely
concerning. While the DA welcomes the amending of the regulations to help combat illegal mining, we feel that the illegal offside beneficiation of minerals is not being sufficiently addressed. Minister ... [Interjections.]

The ACTING HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr Q R Dyantyi): Hon member, your time has expired. Thank you.

Mrs C PHILLIPS: So, I have five minutes.


The ACTING HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr Q R Dyantyi): Finish up, finish up.

Mrs C PHILLIPS: Thank you. Minister Mantashe regularly uses the excuse that chrome or wash plants are not the responsibility of the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy as they are not related to a mining license. Minister Mantashe, if your department actually follow the letter of the law, there would be no illegal chrome mines and no market for illegal chrome wash plants. To disassociate yourself from the mushrooming chrome wash plants with these excuses is at best disingenuous and at worst a tacit approval of this illegal industry. The sad reality is that there are hundreds of chrome deposits being mined illegally, robbing law-abiding South
Africans of jobs, production, productive farm lands, a clean and safe environment, scarce drinking water and irrigation waterfall crops.

These illegal operations are depressing the chrome brass and keeping much-needed revenue out of the national fiscus. Chrome is a bulk product. It cannot be beneficiated in clandestine operations in small, corrugated iron structures, the way gold is. Huge spiral plants are blatantly built out in the open and operated without any intervention from the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy, the Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment or the Department of Water and Sanitation, unless constant complaints are submitted by residents, and parliamentary questions will ask. Will it take a rivalry crisis or a rand where worse headline ... [Inaudible.] ... before the mining beneficiation and position of chrome becomes listed activities. The Democratic Alliance supports the recommendations in the report. Our fear, however, is that this will turn out to be yet another report whose recommendations the current ANC-led government is unable or unwilling to implement.
The ACTING HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr Q R Dyantyi): Thank you, hon Phillips. I hope they will make you present in the report so that they don’t mark you absent. The EFF!

Mr S TAMBO: The EFF stands ... [Inaudible.] ... to the continued exploitation of our natural resources by illegal mining operations facilitated by a system that prioritises profit over the wellbeing of the masses. The recent report on the oversight visits and the feedback provided on the implementation of recommendations from the joint meeting in 2022, highlights systemic failures that perpetuate the cycle of exploitation and inequality. The recommendations put forth aimed at enhancing police capacity, training and skills and while some progress has been made in this regard. The absence of dedicated capacity in provinces to investigate precious metals and diamond matters exposes the inherent laws in our law enforcement system. The capitalist state apparatus serves the interest of the ruling class, allowing for the continued exploitation of our resources with impunity. Similarly, the call for specialised policing resources to target illegal mining at the local level is commendable but falls short of addressing the root cause of the issue. Without dismantling the capitalist structures that perpetuate inequality and
exploitation, any efforts to combat illegal mining would be futile.

The bourgeoisie in collusion with mining houses and private security companies perpetuate the exploitation of our natural resources for their own gain. The recommendation to replicate the successful multidisciplinary approach adopted in the Free State is a step in the right direction. However, it fails to address the underlying economic disparities that drive illegal mining. The capitalist mode of production and handily leads to the concentration of wealth in the hands of the few while the masses are left destitute and desperate resorting to illegal means of survival.

Furthermore, the lack of financial resources allocated to rehabilitation and dealing with ownerless mines exacerbates the problem, driving more people into the illegal mining sector. The involvement of National Treasury is imperative to address this financial shortfall and provide adequate resources to combat illegal mining activity. The impact of illegal mining on small-scale farmers, and the loss of revenue to the fiscal underscores the urgent need for comprehensive policy reforms. The ongoing review of the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act presents an opportunity to
fundamentally transform our reproach to resource extraction and distribution.

The EFF emphasises that South Africa’s unique mineral wealth must be owned and extracted by the state and state-owned companies. This, along with beneficiation and processes of minerals, should be central to the country and industrial programme. The EFF advocates for the building of state-owned refineries and the nationalisation of existing ones ensuring that mineral wealth is running the collective interest of the people rather than maximisation.

In conclusion, the EFF calls for radical overhaul of our economic system. We want to prioritise the needs of the masses of our profits never the bourgeoisie. Only through the establishment of a social society where the means of production are collectively owned by the people can we truly address the scourge of illegal mining and build a more just and equitable society for all. Thank you.

Dr W J BOSHOFF: Chair, I just want to have permission to keep my video off. Apparently, I don’t have a good signal.

The ACTING CHAIRPERSON (Mr Q R Dyantyi): Go ahead.
Dr W J BOSHOFF: Thank you, hon House Chair. Now, I think we all know that the economy is one integrated web, where one part cannot be tampered with without having an influence on the rest of it. Now a declining state is something that has an influence on everything else in that web, including mining.

Now whenever the steady climbs, other role players fill the void. To use another natural example is to say that politics really don’t keep a vacuum intact. Now illegal mining is exactly the result of our declining state. There’s a general lack of law enforcement. And that is being said in this report, which leads to uncontrolled immigration and people who then need jobs, they need work. They need an income in whichever way they can get it.

And then also one has a gang type of economic activity where proper military forces are assembled to protect the activities of illegal miners. These are not just unorganized little guys trying to do something. These are properly organized. As if they imitate the state. And it’s basically unbelievable to think that no officials are involved and that is why that is also rumoured, although it remains difficult to prove it.
Now, the feeling of these entrances to the illegal mines and the abandoned mines, which are opened again just after it has been filled up. That really points to something which is organized on a grand scale. And that opens a question who buys this illegal mining produce? Maybe, and that has been suggested by many people. Perhaps it’s too expensive to mine conventionally in South Africa, because of several factors.

And that we have to do with an unofficial kind of outsourcing of the actual mining process and that the other role players still get their produce, but they don’t have to take the corporate risk or physical risk of really ing the mining scene.

Now the most important problem about this is the loss of tax income and also that legitimate artisanal miners are not afforded the opportunity to ply their trade. I thank you.

Ms V T MALINGA: Chair, permission to keep my video off due to network connectivity. House Chairperson, the ANC supports the tabling and adoption of the report of the Portfolio Committee on Mineral Resources and Energies, all the oversight visits to Northwest and Gauteng Provinces. The DMRE and relevant stakeholders ... [Interjection.]
The ACTING CHAIRPERSON (Mr Q R Dyantyi): Just a pause, hon Malinga. Hon Msimang, you are disturbing us. Is that a point of order? Hon Msimang, I had called you earlier and you were not here, thank you. Proceed, hon Malinga.

Ms V T MALINGA: The DMRE and relevant stakeholders have succeeded in their reinvention, resulting in the successful takeover of the task to close old mine shafts in areas where mining companies have performed poorly with regards to honouring their commitment to mine rehabilitation.

This collaboration between DMRE and relevant stakeholders has increased the collective power, thus denouncing illegal mining in Northwest and Gauteng. During the oversight visit to these two provinces, we noted that this collaboration had made it possible for DMRE to shut down an impressive number of nonfunctional mine shafts than they previously had.

However, the crucial issue in both the Northwest and Gauteng Provinces was the limited budget allocations made towards mine rehabilitation in the in the DMRE, as well as for combating illegal mining in the justice crime prevention and security cluster, making mining communities susceptible to renewed cycles of illegal mining.
In actual fact we observe that unless the incoherence between budget allocation and mine rehabilitation is addressed, we cannot expect efficient mine rehabilitation. This was also a precise recommendation from the committee, that emphasis and efforts must be made towards guaranteeing adequate budget allocation to sufficiently deal with mine rehabilitation. And the enforcement of laws to address illegal mining.

To this effect, we support the committee’s proposal that National Treasury must become the central participant in the collaboration between DMRE and the relevant stakeholders. The participation of National Treasury is needed to meet financial obligations of all relevant stakeholders and indeed push back the growing trend of illegal mining, in which the state bears the brunt of economic losses.

For example, with adequate budget allocations, DMRE and the Department of Home Affairs will be extremely adept at rehabilitating old mine shafts, holding mine companies accountable in the case of rehabilitation, neglect and controlling illegal immigration respectively.

Whilst financial support is significant, amendments to the existing regulatory and legislative frameworks to deal with
unsustainable growing gaps and public participation through community engagement must not be taken for granted. A striking feature of our oversight visit to Northwest and Gauteng was that illegal mining had continued to be pervasive due to weak community engagements and delayed amendments to regulatory and legislative framing.

For example, section 34(1) and subsection B and D of the Immigration Act favoured illegal foreign Zamazamas, as they were released back into communities after being issued with a notice to leave South Africa. Similarly with community engagements provided a window of opportunity for traditional leaders to issue mining rights for mining operations outside the regulatory framework, therefore, and crucially, the ANC supports committee’s recommendation that DMRE must put mechanism in place to end double grounding. Thank you very much, Chair.

The CHAIRPERSON (Mr Q R Dyantyi): Thank you, hon Malinga, that concludes the debate and the business of this virtual
mini-plenary. The mini-plenary will now rise. I thank you members.

Business concluded.
Mini-Plenary rose at 15:08.






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