The Chamber of Mines on Friday said that its members had lost confidence in Minister of Mineral Resources Mosebenzi Zwane and his leadership, saying the department’s failures have had material costs in the industry.
The Chamber’s chief executive, Roger Baxter, said that key governance and policy challenges in South Africa had eroded business and investor confidence, and that policy and regulatory uncertainty have frozen new investment in the sector.
“It is extremely difficult to get any company investment committee to approve any new greenfields project in South Africa today,” Baxter said.
“The economic opportunity cost of the failure to get the policy, legislative, administrative and operating environment right to promote investment, growth, transformation and job creation in South African mining is material.”
Baxter was addressing the third and final day of the Paydirt 2017 Africa Downunder conference in Perth on Friday.
He said it was very concerning that Zwane paid scant attention to this crisis in his conference presentation on Thursday, but that perhaps this was because the department of mineral resources (DMR) had provided no assistance to help the industry through the crisis.
Baxter said the industry was very surprised that the minister claims to have received positive feedback from any investor on the DMR’s Charter, or the state of the industry.
The Chamber is currently embroiled in a court challenge with the DMR trying to interdict the implementation of the controversial Reviewed Mining Charter, which sets new stringent targets for the industry.
Baxter stated the Chamber and its members have lost confidence in Zwane and in his leadership of the DMR.
He said the industry was of the firm view that the DMR’s Charter is designed to benefit a select few at the expense of the whole country.
“Significant corruption allegations against the minister and the DMR had not been cleared and the proposed judicial commission of enquiry into state capture has not been established,” Baxter said.
“The industry does not believe that the approach adopted by the DMR is serving the national interest of the country and the negative impacts of the unilaterally imposed Reviewed Mining Charter, the proposed section 49 rights moratorium, the nonresolution of the charter ownership issues, imposition of inappropriate section 54 safety stoppages, for example, have created a major crisis for the sector.”
– African News Agency (ANA)