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The Chamber of Mines has noted its concern about the appointment of advocate Mokoena as the country’s new director-general of the Department of Mineral Resources (DMR).

The Chamber of Mines said that it has been caught by surprise by the announcement noting that consultation with key stakeholders such as itself and other relevant stakeholders is important before announcements of this nature is made.

“While the newly appointed director-general is a lawyer by training, there are concerns about the depth of his mining industry knowledge and experience, more so given that the industry has a twin challenge of attracting investments and growing the industry and is also dealing with challenges of transformation and inclusive growth,” said the Chamber of Mines.

“For the industry, it is very important that leadership is able to deal with such imperatives which are immediate for the industry and the country,” added the Chamber of Mines.

Given the significant challenges facing the South African mining sector, including viability issues, policy uncertainty, a DMR draft Mining Charter that has many unworkable targets, static investment, falling employment and a South African mining industry that is now ranked 74th out of 104 mining jurisdictions in the Fraser Institute ranking for investment attractiveness, the new director-general is faced with many significant challenges, said the Chamber of Mines.

Advocate Thabo Mokoena holds an LLB degree from the University of the Western Cape as well as a post-graduate diploma in law. His appointment has been welcomed by the Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane. Mokoena takes up his duties from April this year.

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