SA considers single window for mineral rights

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Pretoria - Mineral Resources Minister Susan Shabangu says South Africa is seriously considering creating a single window for processing mineral rights as well as associated environmental authorisation and water licenses.

This, according to Shabangu, will go a long way to ease the administrative processes both within government as well as for the mining companies.

Speaking at the 2011 Ministers Forum held in China, the minister said her department had made some amendments to the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act.

"We are consulting mine communities with an intention of strengthening collaboration between communities and mines," she said.

"The role of government in the entire transformation process is to regulate and this it will do in a manner that is conducive both to the growth and meaningful transformation of our mining industry."

Shabangu said government had invested a great deal of political and financial capital to ensure that the requisite infrastructure was adequate.

The minister said government was concerned about mine safety. "The loss of lives in our mines continues to be a great concern, one fatality in mining, is one too many and must not and cannot be tolerated," she said.

The minister added that as government, they would continue to take appropriate measures to ensure that workers return home to their loved ones still in one piece.

Shabangu told delegates at the forum that in South Africa, unsafe mines or sections of the mines that are deemed unsafe are stopped in order to ensure compliance with the provisions of the law.

These measures demonstrate that government does care about the plight of the workers and recognise that they also deserve to be exposed to appropriate health and safety standards.

President Jacob Zuma signed a comprehensive strategic partnership agreement with His Excellency President Hu Jintao on 25 August 2010.

Shabangu explained that the partnership agreement covered areas ranging from political dialogue, trade, energy, investment, mineral exploration, agriculture, as well as collaboration at a global level between the two countries.

"Since the signing of this strategic partnership agreement, we have witnessed an increased in appetite by Chinese companies in our mining sector, a move which signals confidence in South Africa as one of this country's preferred investment destinations," Shabangu said.