Gwede’s slippery story explains lack of mining investment

Issued by James Lorimer MP – DA Shadow Minister of Mineral Resources
21 May 2024 in News

Please find attached a soundbite by James Lorimer MP.

The Department of Mineral Resources and Energy has admitted it has not yet even signed a service level agreement with the companies chosen to provide a new mining cadastral system. In February Minister Gwede Mantashe boasted to a large international audience of investors at the Cape Town Mining Indaba that the consortium that will build the system had been chosen. He then gave himself 12 months which he said would be used to ensure the system would be properly implemented. He talked generalities but gave the clear impression that a deal had been done.

His announcement back then came after months during which he gave the public to understand that the mining applications data was being corrected prior to being loaded onto a new system.

Now we are told that three and a half months have gone by, and the most basic agreement has not yet been signed. The fact that there are not even agreed terms of reference will strengthen the belief that this government’s word is not to be trusted. Perhaps it is deliberately dragging its feet because it does not want to reveal how many connected cadres own mineral rights. It seems highly unlikely that we will have a functioning and credible cadastral system by February next year.

The consequences of this for South Africa’s mining industry have been underlined by the latest report on mining ‘investability’ drawn up by the internationally respected Fraser Institute. It shows South Africa is still in the bottom 30% for attractiveness for mining investment.

The Minerals Council has estimated that clearing a backlog of more than 3,000 mining rights could unlock about R30bn in investments. That would provide thousands of South Africans with a livelihood.

Mantashe has no urgency to get that done or to ease the lives of South Africans. At best this is due to his sloth and indolence but it’s also likely it down to his desire to protect his comrades.

Voters need to remember that when they go to the polls.