In a statement, the Select Committee on Land Reform, Environment, Mineral Resources and Energy raised several concerns on the newly merged Department of Mineral Resources’ annual performance plan on Tuesday.
The lack of proper funding for mine safety, the closing of mine shafts, how the department dealt with the Xolobeni issue, and job losses were some of the concerns raised by the committee.
Illegal mining is also a massive problem in South Africa and has cost the economy a lot of money.
Bongani Bingwa chats to the department's director general, Advocate Thabo Mokoena.
The minister tabled his budget vote yesterday, and in his budget vote, he highlighted that mining is a sunrise industry. We maintain this view because of the progress that we are making in the industry.— Advocate Thabo Mokoena, Director general - Mineral Resources Department
He adds that as an industry, they have agreed that there need to be better mechanisms to deal with job losses.
As a government, we met with business and we have agreed that where there are challenges we need to come together and see where we can assist.— Advocate Thabo Mokoena, Director general - Mineral Resources Department
Mokoena adds that the department has also addressed policy uncertainty.
There are challenges in all the sectors, but is important is how we deal with those challenges. There are close to 60 new projects in the mining sector that will be implemented in this financial year. We anticipate that 32, 000 jobs will be created.— Advocate Thabo Mokoena, Director general - Mineral Resources Department
Mokoena admits that illegal mining is a challenge.
Our position is very clear, illegal mining is criminal activity and we have to deal with it.— Advocate Thabo Mokoena, Director general - Mineral Resources Department
He adds that the department has plans in place to ensure that illegal miners are made to comply with the law.
Listen below to the full interview: