Minister of Mineral Resources has said the missing link to the radical economic transformation debate in the mining industry, is the voices of black businesses.
The minister who was speaking at the Black Business Council’s business breakfast this morning said the South African economy must undergo a fundamental change in order for the majority of South Africans to participate meaningfully.
“Before 1994, black people were considered only as cheap labour to supply the mining industry, but with the mining charter, they will be given the opportunity to actively participate, via their businesses, as suppliers of labour, skills and expertise to the industry.”
Minister Zwane said governments efforts to decisively develop economic policies to reverse the trend of isolating black labour from the mining industry were visible through the charters emphasis on working with 30% black owned businesses.
“Government believes unequivocally that the 2017 Mining Charter givers extensive meaning of Radical Economic Transformation,” Zwane said. “It is a decisive and deliberate action by the government to reverse the sustained negative impact of apartheid policies on the people of SA.”
Zwane went on to say even the 30% allocated in the revised charter was not enough.
“Some have said that 30% is not radical enough…Our people said it should have been 50%”
“We must stop talking and start acting,” said the minister. The time for talking is over. It’s time for action. The majority must play a more meaningful role in the economy. There will be no stability in the country until that is achieved. We call upon black business to walk this path with us to transform our economy. The time is now.”
Zwane noted that to date only one stakeholder has expressed opposition to the matter of transforming the mining industry and the matter is been seen before the courts.
“Government will continue to strengthen the laws regulation mining and ensure they are developed for the benefit of the people,” he concluded.