The Chamber of Mines made its case on the underlying socio-economic challenges of mining-affected communities at the SA Human Rights Commissions (SAHRC) hearings.

Presenting at the SAHRC National Investigative Hearings on the socio-economic challenges in mining-affected communities in South Africa, the Chamber made recommendations for improvements in areas where mining-affected communities have been impacted.

The issues dealt in the Chamber’s submission included:

  • Voluntary employer organisation that supports and promotes the SA mining industry, serving members and promoting their collective interests by providing strategic support and advisory input;
  • Advocacy and lobbying with no executive authority over its member companies;
  • Mining matters;
  • Mining industry is transforming people;
  • The transformation of the mining industry;
  • Social and Labour Plans (SLPs); and
  • Environmental planning.

The Chamber recommended that a portion of mining royalties be ring-fenced for mining-impacted communities – a practice already being undertaken in some mining jurisdictions including Ghana, Guinea and Argentina. About 20% of the royalties are ring-fenced for the mining-impacted communities to enable them to deal with in-migration and other impacts of mining.

In 2015/16, R5.4 billion in royalties was paid by local mining companies to the National Treasury.

Moreover, in terms of SLPs, the Chamber welcomed the improvement to the SLP model of social delivery, especially when it comes to ensuring that the projects undertaken are reflective for a consultative process, undertaken with legitimate representatives and addressing the developmental needs of the community in which it operates.

It also called for approval process for SLPs for individual mining companies to be expedited to enable better transparency.

 

The hearings began on 13 and 14 September and were reconvened on 26 and 28 September.

Chamber of Mines, President Mike Teke says: “I yearn for the South African mining industry to continue on a journey to greatness. If we follow the right approach, our advocacy will take us in a direction that is to the benefit not only of the industry alone but, on balance, to the benefit of our society more broadly.”

“But, in my view, we have to acknowledge, perhaps more than the industry has done previously, including in its testimony to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, the other side of that legacy. And we need to focus our minds even more than we have done so far, on what contribution we can make to address that legacy,” Teke concludes.