This morning’s Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Mineral Resources and Energy has revealed a major disconnect between what Minister Gwede Mantashe is saying and what his department is doing.
A Powerpoint presentation by the department made clear that for mineral prospecting rights to be granted, applicants had to fulfil BEE requirements. That is in complete contrast to what Mantashe has been telling prospective local and international mining investors.
In an effort to attract more prospectors, so that more mines are developed, Mantashe has been saying the onerous BEE requirements of the Mining Charter are not applicable. He said this at last year’s Junior Mining Indaba and on an international Zoom call last nights with a Canadian Law Firm, amongst other occasions.
So the question arises: Is Mantashe telling a pretty story to try and draw in new investors while clubbing them with BEE requirements if they actually apply? Or is he not in control of his department which is motivated by policies which place more emphasis on racial representivity than they do on creating jobs?
The Minister needs to tell us which.
The DA views the mining industry as a key part in turning around our failing economy. We need to attract more mining investment to create jobs and value for South Africans. The ANC government’s policies have given us a mining system with bad policy that is badly implemented. The mining industry is in a long term decline because of this.