Today's Labour News

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MantasheIn a hard-hitting opinion piece, Hulme Scholes & Francois Sieberhagen write about the draft Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining Policy 2021, which was published in the Government Gazette on 5 May 2021 for public comment.

Various quarters raised concerns with the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE), but “Comrade” (Cannot Organise Mining, Renewable Energy, Administration, DMRE and Electricity) Mantashe effectively ignored all comments. On 30 April 2022, he published the final policy – , effectively a carbon copy of the draft – in the Gazette. The authors say the policy is a fantasy. “With a stroke of the legislature’s pen, it intends to magically create vast valuable open cast areas where artisanal miners can profitably mine, as previously mined areas are excluded to prevent artisanal miners from attracting environmental liabilities. It also assumes that platoons of Zama Zamas will miraculously stop their illegal activities overnight, undertake formal training, use PPE and pay taxes and royalties. This is like allowing drug dealers to continue selling drugs if they obtain pharmaceutical qualifications and pay tax on their earnings – it just won’t happen.” According to the authors, the clumsy policy can have only one outcome, namely, “the responsibility to train, equip and accommodate artisanal miners will rest with mining companies who will be expected to tolerate artisanal miners in their mining areas.” A further consequence of the policy is said to already be apparent, namely that an expectation has been created with communities that mining companies are now obliged to include them as artisanal miners in existing mining areas. Instead, it is argued, a start should be made to intervene decisively to stop criminality in the mining sector.

  • Read the full original of the above opinion piece by Hulme Scholes & Francois Sieberhagen at Miningmx

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