Minister of Mineral Resources, Mosebenzi Zwane, ticked all the right boxes for the mining industry when he delivered the opening address at Mining Indaba in Cape Town this morning. But, according to Andrew Lane, Africa Mining Leader for Deloitte, industry would have liked to have heard a more tangible action plan for addressing key issues in the mining sector.
“What actually creates certainty is cohesiveness in government’s statements. How is he going to ensure business stability in the current climate? We would have liked to see a more palpable reassurance for investors,” said Lane, who added that there were no surprises in the Minister’s address.
It was the Minister’s first opportunity to address industry leaders since his appointment four months ago, and the message was one of reassurance and commitment.
“In terms of our constitution, our legislation and regulatory framework provide the highest order of protection of investment,” he said, before going on to confirm that his department has prioritised the finalising of the MPRDA Amendment Bill and is committed to a review of the Mining Charter.
Lane welcomed the Minister’s commitment to the revision of the Mining Charter, but commented that there was no indication of how the Charter and the DTI scorecard would be aligned.
“Right now, a company may comply with all the provisions of the Charter,” he said, “but still fall short in term of the DTI scorecard, and that is a concern.”
The Minister had a strong message for industry about the treatment of workers, and praised a number of mining companies which had achieved a zero fatality rate during 2015. He also made the important point that the treatment of workers impacted on their productivity, which is vital for the growth of the mining industry in South Africa.
“As an industry we know that inclusive growth is what is needed right now. Business understands that jobs matter and that in the current climate we need to work together to ensure that everybody wins, or tightens their belts together,” concluded Lane.