Tensions are high in the mining sector with debates around the Mining Charter and pending court cases. In light of this, Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane has threatened that he will suspend new mining and exploration rights.
Godfrey Oliphant, Deputy Minister of Mineral Resources says he can't comment on this matter as Zwane did not consult him before putting out the statement. Like most South Africans, Oliphant claims he only saw this development in newspapers.
He did not raise the matter of suspending licenses with me.— Godfrey Oliphant, Deputy Minister of Mineral Resources
Zwane has spoken about suspending mining rights across media platforms, including newspapers and television. Oliphant feels that despite not being consulted, Zwane is well within his rights because he is the Minister. He added that this is not the first time a Minister has done something without consulting him.
When it comes to the effects of Zwane's threat and the tensions within the mining sector and its stakeholders, Oliphant admits that there are things they can improve on.
There are things that we can do better in the sector. I am confidant that where we have made mistakes, we can come back and correct them. It is basically what we have done before, and what we can do this time.— Godfrey Oliphant, Deputy Minister of Mineral Resources
With regards to the tension within the mining sector, Oliphant says they are nothing new. He adds that they have faced similar challenges in the past, and they will overcome them as they have before.
Listen to the full interview below: