Government will continue to work diligently to ensure that as it transforms the mining sector, it does not do so at the expense of the long-term sustainability of the industry, says Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane.
“Equally, the sector must be mindful of its national duty to drive real, substantial change in the sector and make it an economic-home for all to participate in,” Minister Zwane said.
Addressing the Joburg Indaba Gala dinner on Tuesday, he said government believes that the Mining Charter is one of those instruments that can assist it further in transforming the country.
“The story of change in this country cannot be confined only to certain aspects or parts of our public. It has to cover other key aspects of our public life such as economic inclusion and all of us have a duty to work hard in ensuring that this goal is realized,” Minister Zwane said.
He said beneficiation is the way to go as part of capitalising on the mineral wealth of the country to create jobs and value for communities that live in mining areas.
“This is the transformation narrative that we seek to relate as we walk this difficult journey. We want a mining industry which grows. We want a mining industry which responds to the social and community needs of the people it operates in,” Minister Zwane said.
He said the future of mining in this country is bright but it requires everyone to work together.
“I remain available to engage with all the stakeholders in the industry to shape the future of this sector. My door remains open at all times to engage on issues confronting the mining sector in this country and I remain optimistic that sooner rather than later we will have some consensus on this matter,” Minister Zwane said.
He appealed to all the role players in this sector to work collaboratively in communicating one consistent message regarding the sector when they are out on international investment missions abroad.
“It does not help any of us to talk the country down during these missions and appear to be doing everything to drive investors away. If we continue to do so, we will be shooting ourselves in the collective foot and undermine the very same potential of this strategic sector,” Minister Zwane said.
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