Mining Operation Phakisa to start work in August

Thursday, May 14, 2015

By Nosihle Shelembe

Pretoria – Engagements which are aimed at moving the mining sector forward will start in August, as part of the Mining Operation Phakisa.

“Government will convene all stakeholders in the industry in a lab process whose main objectives is to develop implementable results that will transform the industry and increase investment, in line with the goals of the National Development Plan,” Mineral Resources Minister Adv. Ngoako Ramatlhodi said.

Operation Phakisa was announced by President Jacob Zuma in his State of the Nation Address last year.

The Mining leg of Operation Phakisa will identify key constraints to investment and growth of the industry as well as develop a shared vision and growth strategy for the long term development and transformation of the sector.

Speaking during a media briefing in Pretoria on Thursday, Minister Ramatlhodi said the Mining Phakisa will also focus on finding “win-win” solutions in dealing with the role and contribution of the mining industry to beneficiation and industrialisation.

He said stakeholders of the Mining Growth Development and Employment Task Team (MIG-DETT), whom he met earlier in the day and which he chairs, have expressed support of the process of the Mining Phakisa.

The meeting was attended by the leadership of business, the Chamber of Mines and the South African Mining Development Association as well as labour which was represented by the National Union of Mineworkers, Solidarity and UASA.

The meeting deliberated on issues such as the upcoming Mining Phakisa, retrenchments in the industry and the final Mining Charter Report.

“As the regulator of the mining industry, we are alarmed at the rate at which retrenchments have been taking place in the industry. As stakeholders, we understand well the impact of job losses on the economy,” he said.

Minister Ramatlhodi said the meeting agreed on adherence to due legal processes when dealing with the retrenchments.

Final Mining Charter Report

The Minister released the Mining Charter 2014 Assessment Report. This report measures the progress of the nine key elements of the Mining Charter which was developed with the view of driving the transformational agenda in the critical sector of the economy of the country.

The elements to be measured seek to redress the imbalances of the past both in the sharing of the wealth with the previously disadvantaged people and the development of the human resource and ownership of the mines. 

 “Out of 962 mining right holders eligible for assessment, 442 mining right holders have submitted the relevant information,” Minister Ramatlhodi said.

He said the overall representation of women across all functional categories had increased to 14.7 percent by 2014.

Data on housing and living conditions showed that overall, 45 percent of mining rights holders did not meet the target for improving the living conditions of the mineworkers by either reducing occupancy rate to one person per room or converting hostels to family units.

More than 60 percent of right holders did not meet the target of skills development investment.

“The data shows that nationally, only 36 percent of mining right holders have met their set target on mine community development (MCD).

“On implementation of Triparte Action Plans (Health and Safety): 92.2 percent of right holders failed to fully meet the requisite levels of implementation,” Minister Ramatlhodi said.

He said 55.5 percent of right holders did not meet the target of implementation of the Environmental Management Plans as stipulated by the charter.

“With respect to procurements of services from BEE entities, 66.8percent of the industry did not meet the 2014 target of 70 percent.

“On procuring consumables from BEE entities, 40 percent of the industry did not meet the 2014 target of 50 percent,” Minister Ramatlhodi said.

He said the Department of Mineral Resources has commenced its engagements with individual right holders who have failed to comply with the law.

“The department will communicate the assessment scores with all individual right holders,” Minister Ramatlhodi said.

He said the Mining Charter will be amended this year, taking into account lessons learnt and the country’s long-term socio economic objectives. –

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