Minerals Minister, Gwede Mantashe said his department aims to finalise and gazette the Mining Charter in June 2018, having taken onboard inputs and concerns from stakeholders across the country.

Mantashe, who was delivering the Department of Mineral Resources’ budget speech in Cape Town today, said it was evident that the conflict in the industry around the mining charter and, therefore, failure to have the sector coalesce contributed to uncertainty and fear among investors.

“In line with the call by President Cyril Ramaphosa, we have intensified our engagements on the Mining Charter. Something we believe is a significant tool for transformation,” said Mantashe.

In his address, the minister also noted that the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Amendment Bill, 2013 (MPRDA Bill) was before the National Council of Provinces.

He said, “Eight of the nine Provincial Legislatures supported the Bill in the negotiating mandates process. Issuing of mining rights and the proper processing of applications for mining licenses is among our key priorities.”

Talking numbers

Mantashe said the vision and mission statements of the Department of Mineral Resources would focus on the department’s work as the regulator and enforcer of compliance in the sector.

He said, R1.9 billion would be allocated for the 2018/2019 financial year. An amount he felt was inadequate for the growth of the sector.

“The funding allocated to the department and its portfolio of entities remains inadequate if we are to effectively carry out our mandate. Addressing this anomaly is important.

“The mining sector must increase its contribution to the GDP of the country. It must operate optimally for the benefit of society,” he concluded.

For 2018, the department received an allocation of R6 billion, of which, 50% goes to entities reporting to the department – with Mintek and the Council of Geoscience receiving 83% of the transfers for critical work being undertaken in research and development (R&D).

Industry ratings

According to the Fraser Institute, an international rating agency that rates 91 mining economies, South Africa could potentially be rated at 21 overall.

Currently, on investor attractiveness, the country is rated 47; and are placed number 80 in policy and regulatory framework.