Joint media statement: 2010 Mining Summit, Drakensberg Sun, KwaZulu-Natal
31 Mar 2010
Government, business and labour agree on strategy to position South Africa’s mining industry for sustainable growth, job creation and meaningful transformation. The leadership of South Africa’s mining industry met at the 2010 Mining Summit on 30 and 31 March in the Drakensberg region of KwaZulu-Natal province and agreed on a wide range of issues aimed at promoting the sustainable growth and meaningful transformation of the industry.
Mineral Resources Minister Susan Shabangu, described the summit as a significant milestone in ensuring that the industry repositions itself as the most meaningful contributor to South Africa’s growth and socioeconomic development.
“I am confident that this Mining Summit has thoroughly debated and dealt with the many challenging issues facing the South African mining industry so that it contributes to the sustainable development of our country,” said Minister Shabangu.
“There are many issues that have been agreed on and some others that will demand further discussion. Our deliberations took place in a constructive spirit of tripartite collaboration and we are positive that we have agreed on a significant number of issues which will enhance growth, the sector’s global competitiveness, create decent jobs and transform the industry in a manner that meets the expectations of the industry’s stakeholders, investors and our country’s citizens.
Equally, it’s encouraging that all parties are committed to conclude agreements on the remaining issues which need agreement by or before the end of June 2010,” she said.
Minister Shabangu also welcomed the support of stakeholders at the summit for a state mining company, emphasising that the work being done in this regard would continue diligently.
The government, business and labour delegations were led by: Mineral Resources Minister Susan Shabangu and the department’s Director-General,
Advocate Sandile Nogxina; President of the Chamber of Mines Sipho Nkosi and Chief Executive Officer Mzolisi Diliza; President of the National Union of Mineworkers Senzeni Zokwana and General Secretary Frans Baleni; President of the workers union Solidarity Steve Scott; South African Mining Development Association President Bridgette Radebe and Chairperson
Nchaka Moloi, and the Chief Operating Officer of United Association of South Africa (UASA) the union, Leon Grobler. Several members of Parliament from the relevant Parliamentary Committees and youth representatives were also in attendance.
Following the global recession, the leadership of the industry had announced at the beginning of 2010 that the Mining Industry Growth, Development and Employment Task Team (MIGDETT) representing all industry stakeholders would embark on a process to ensure that the industry is well placed to take advantage of the inevitable economic upswing.
The Mining Summit was the culmination of two months of intensive engagement during which stakeholders worked around the clock to identify key issues affecting the sector’s global competitiveness as well as transformation of the industry, recognising that these two aspects are inseparable and mutually reinforcing.
The summit agreed that the competitiveness aspect is absolutely critical to ensuring that the industry remains a significant contributor to broader socioeconomic development, economic growth, and remain a sunrise industry.
The summit agreed that attainment of the requisite levels of competitiveness required further consideration of various issues that facilitate competitiveness. To this extent, the Mining Summit agreed to the establishment of task teams to address key identified issues. The task teams will be required to revert with specified recommendations and ideas back to the MIGDETT plenary before end June 2010. The summit recognised the significant work already completed and agreed that a more detailed action plan will be developed on the following:
The need to develop a mechanism for integrated long-term infrastructural planning for the mining industry. These proposals will focus on key infrastructural areas affecting mining including rail, water, ports and electricity.
It was reconfirmed that stakeholders are committed to the objectives of the regulatory framework but have agreed to investigate how to achieve regulatory best practice, to accelerate the turnaround of application times and improve the quality of applications.
Innovation, productivity and cost
* Sharing of international best practice
* Support and promotion of local research and development in areas that generate competitiveness for the minerals cluster (mining and beneficiation), such as collaborative research
* Support and promotion of local research and development institutions as well as the use of local analytical facilities
* Investigate issues affecting productivity in the industry (capital, labour, management impacts)
* Health and Safety (to be synchronised with the work of the Mine Health and Safety Council)
* Investigating ways to encourage investment in exploration, which is a key to sustainability
* Optimal exploitation of resources in terms of the objectives of the MPRDA.
* Environment and mining (including legacy issues, current and future impact of mining on the environment)
This covers the macroeconomic environment and its potential to attract investment (locally and internationally) directed to mining, particularly exploration
* To investigate the macroeconomic factors that has an impact on the mining sector
* To investigate the tax and finance issues that can encourage investment into exploration and mining.
Stakeholders committed their support to growing beneficiation in South Africa and will engage on the soon to be released government strategy paper on beneficiation.
Skills development is one of the key drivers of competitiveness. The skills in the industry will be investigated and ways of facilitating skills development and the retention of skills in the industry will be examined.
The summit recognised that one of the key shortcomings of the Mining Charter is lack of definitions and clarity that has led to different interpretations of what is expected. There was further recognition of the need to ensure that future Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) transactions will be adequately facilitated to enhance the achievement of the 26 percent ownership target. The importance of ownership for workers and communities was highlighted. There was agreement that transactions should include provision for an element of dividend flow to BEE partners.
Human resource development
Whilst Adult Education and Training (ABET) remains critical it was agreed that special attention should also be paid to the development of scarce and critical skills in the industry.
There was agreement that employment equity targets for higher levels of management should be a matter of specific focus. In addition, it was agreed that the issue of representation of white women in relation to Historically Disadvantaged South Africans (HDSAs) in terms of their demographic representivity in employment equity numbers was an issue that needs to be addressed.
Where there are difficulties in meeting employment equity and gender representivity targets, parties should meet to discuss ways of better achieving these goals. It was also agreed that the employment of people with disabilities and the youth needs to be addressed.
Mine community development
It was agreed that clearer guidelines for community engagement by companies needed to be developed to enhance community participation in local economic development initiatives.
Housing and living conditions
It was agreed that single room accommodation for mineworkers should be phased in as a priority.
It was agreed that qualifying procurement spend needs to be properly defined, and further focus is needed to ensure that BEE companies are given preferential supplier status.
The summit agreed that with regard to all the above issues, appointed task teams will not duplicate existing structures and work done already, but will integrate the mining industry’s competitiveness and transformation needs into national programs and fill in gaps where issues are not covered elsewhere.
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Issued by: Department of Mineral Resources
31 March 2010
Source: Department of Mineral Resources (http://www.dme.gov.za/)
Issued by: Department of Mineral Resources
31 Mar 2010
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