DMR minister Mosebenzi Zwane has announced the establishment of a more streamlined Mineral and Mining Development Board.

One of the board’s key focus areas is on jobs in the mining industry.

The formation of the new board follows the end of the term of office of the previous board on 1 February 2016.

In light of the job losses that the industry is facing, particularly South Africa’s platinum industry, the specific mandate of the board will be to research and properly consider the issue of job losses in the industry and to prepare a report on the issue for the Minister’s consideration, by 31 July 2016.

This is along with other interventions, including but not limited to, the stakeholder declaration and direct engagement with primary right holders and organised labour through the Minister’s open door policy, as he continues to direct efforts to save jobs and ameliorate the impact of the current market conditions. [quote]

The board was initially set up in terms of the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act (MPRDA) in 2004 and envisioned that it would see coherent and collaborative stakeholder participation in the governance of a competitive and sustainable, minerals and petroleum industry.

The board was set up as per statutory requirements and had (in terms of Section 58 of the MPRDA) the mandate to advise the Minister on any matter that is referred to the board by the Minister; and advise the Minister on the sustainable development of the nation’s mineral and petroleum resources; as well as give priority to matters referred to it by the Minister.

Part of the board’s mandate is to be supplementary to the Mining Industry Growth Development and Employment Task Team (MIGDETT), to provide an alternative source of consideration by the Minister in his deliberations on the issue.

As part of the Act, Section 62(2), allows the Minister to extend the term of office of any members in order to carry out a specific mandate. The Minister has resultantly taken an informed decision to do so and has reappointed six board members.

These include:

Ms Khetiwe McClain – Chairperson

Mr Smunda Mokoena – Deputy Chairperson and representative of Organised Labour

Mr David Msiza – Chief Inspector of Mines (currently acting DG of the DMR)

Mr Luthando Brukwe – Organised Labour

Mr Neale Baartjes – Organised Business

Mr Vusi Mabena – Chamber of Mines

The Minister has selected these specific members on the advice of the secretariat, as they collectively represent various critical areas of industry.