Regulatory certainty needed – Ngoako Ramatlhodi

FILE PICTURE: Ngoako Ramathlodi, Minister of Mineral Resources. Picture: Werner Beukes/SAPA

FILE PICTURE: Ngoako Ramathlodi, Minister of Mineral Resources. Picture: Werner Beukes/SAPA

Government is aware that investment in the mining industry is dependent on regulatory policy frameworks as espoused in legislation, Mineral Resources Minister Ngoako Ramatlhodi said on Wednesday.

“In this regard the amendment to the minerals bill is sitting in front of the president,” he told The Joburg Indaba on mining in Sandton, Johannesburg.

“This is the result of my request on my appointment that I needed time to study the bill following certain queries from the industry, in particular with regard to mining and gas.”

Ramatlhodi said he had since made representations to President Jacob Zuma.

The bill proposes amendments to the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act.

In a short questionnaire at the Indaba, the majority of delegates said regulatory certainty was needed in the industry.

In the meantime, the minister said his department was readying itself should the bill be sent back to Parliament.

“[This is] so that the timeframes and the delays are dealt with… to provide the certainty that [the] industry wants.

“I should mention also that as we discuss these matters I do not want a situation of cold comfort, where we arrive at arrangements which remain contested elsewhere within political structures.

“My aim is that if we have got a boil we should open it now and be sure that going forward we have certain frameworks which will survive into the foreseeable future,” Ramatlhodi said.

This was because he had been made aware that the bill was not properly discussed within the structures of the African National Congress.

Ramatlhodi said he had already met the Chamber of Mines who were happy with the current bill but he would continue to discuss issues regarding the bill with other parties so that there were no comebacks.

He said his ministry had been assured that Zuma would make a decision on the bill soon.

Ramatlhodi wanted to be involved in any change in the industry, saying this was part of his oath of office.

When the industry was planning to do anything, such as restructuring, he wanted to be included.

“I want to be taken into confidence… quite ahead of time so that I can assist,” he told the conference.

“It is important that we work together.”

Ramatlhodi said compliance with the Mining Charter was being studied and in the end there would be no difference in interpretation by all parties.

“We hope at the end of the process we’ll be able to take remedial action.”

The minister spoke about transformation in the industry.

Participation in the sector had to be broadened beyond ownership.

“I want to see a situation where your black counterparts participate in all levels. There needs to be a critical mass of black participation,” Ramatlhodi said.





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