January 20, 2018

Minister’s keynote address at Mining Indaba 2016

Jacques Barradas, partner specialising in the Mining sector, at Grant Thornton Johannesburg, comments on the Keynote Address by the Honourable Minister of Mineral Resources of South Africa, Mosebenzi Joseph Zwane, at the Mining Indaba 2016 in Cape Town.

1) Overall sentiment:

“Overall, the Minister’s speech was of a person who is still finding his feet. It was a non-committal and non-specific address that had very few aspects which would raise any concern, but the Honourable Mosebenzi Zwane did manage to find some positive aspects to highlight to the delegates at the 2016 Mining Indaba.”

2) On Mine Safety:

“In his keynote address at the 2016 Mining Indaba, the Minister of Mineral Resources specifically mentioned the names of mining houses and companies that delivered zero fatalities during the 2015 year. In my view, it is quite rare for a Minister to give a list of company names in a public address and I believe that it shows that he will be taking mine safety very, very seriously.”
Jacques Barradas, partner specialising in the Mining sector, at Grant Thornton Johannesburg

3) On Mine Strikes

“This morning, Minister Zwane reinforced some of the key messaging we heard at the 2015 Mining Indaba last year when he emphasised Government’s positioning that the five months of strike action which occurred during 2014 in the platinum sector will never be allowed to happen again. This was the most promising message in today’s keynote address by the Minister of Mineral Resources because it should help to give international investors’ confidence in the South African economy.”

4) On updating of the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act (MPRDA)

“The Minister’s commitment to ensuring that the updating of the MPRDA Act remains a priority this year, via the Amendment Bill and Mining Charter, is commendable. The updated Act will hopefully bring South Africa on par with other emerging economies while ensuring that as a nation, we continue to lead on the African continent in terms of governance and reporting standards and requirements.

5) On research and development

“This morning Minister Zwane mentioned that Government will support a stronger focus and emphasis on research and development. While this is laudable, unfortunately this is a process which should have started many years ago because the benefits in supporting research and development takes years to come to fruition. This really will be part of the Department of Mineral Resources’ long term strategy.”

6) On Skills Development and Education

“In his keynote address this morning, Minister Zwane said that the Department of Mineral Resources and the Department of Labour will work together to ensure greater skills development in local communities. In my opinion, it will be imperative for the Department of Education to be involved, too, so that the local content development for the communities is carefully planned – from an early, basic education level, all the way through to tertiary education.”
Jacques Barradas, partner specialising in the Mining sector, at Grant Thornton Johannesburg

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