minerals council
Government Communication and Information System

Speaking today at the Investing in African Mining Indaba South African President, Cyril Ramaphosa, outlined value principles that miners should strive to achieve.

  1. Companies should foster inclusive growth in the areas where they operate. It has been shown that companies that care about the upliftment of workers and communities are more successful. We live in a world where people no longer want to have things happen around them without their knowledge and involvement. They want to be engaged and have their views heeded.Companies, government and labour must work together to create shared value and ensure the benefits of mining are more widely spread.
  2. Companies should partner with local governments to improve infrastructure, such as water and roads, in the areas where they operate. Such infrastructure is critical for the effective functioning of mines, and too often companies and municipalities do not coordinate their work or even operate at cross purposes.
  3. Companies need to see investment in the living conditions of their workers as more than a regulatory obligation. Through, for example, building decent houses for workers, companies can ensure workers are much more productive and can demonstrate their commitment to build sustainable working communities. Such social investment is an important part of the effort to end the dehumanising effect of the migrant labour system.
  4. Companies should invest in education and training. We applaud those companies that are far-sighted enough to set up early childhood education centres, as well as those that are helping to develop hardcore skills that are needed now, such as mining engineering, metallurgy and artisan training. We urge companies to embrace the recommendations of the ILO Global Commission on the Future of Work, the commitment to a lifelong learning process. This involves skilling, re-skilling and up-skilling to equip workers to manage the work transitions that will result from technological advances.
  5. Companies should partner with training colleges, contributing to the development of curricula and providing work experience for students. Among other things, this will ensure that companies can draw on a pool of well-trained graduates with relevant skills and experience.
  6. Companies should embrace beneficiation. Not only does beneficiation encourage the expansion of our industrial capacity, create employment and enable the extraction of greater value from our mineral wealth, it also helps to create demand for these metals and locates markets for these metals closer to the site of production. Several companies have seen the logic of local beneficiation and are keen to work with government to develop downstream industries.
  7. Companies need to pay more attention to, and invest more in, the health and safety of workers. As a matter of principle, workers should not be exposed to life-threatening situations or where they could suffer bodily harm. Safe and healthy workers are also much more productive.
  8. Companies need to provide internships and job experience opportunities for young people – as well as provide business opportunities for SMMEs – because that is the only way to prepare our youth for the world of work and stimulate growth through the active participation of SMMEs.
  9. Companies must prioritise the development of young women, through proactive hiring policies, prioritised training, promotion and mentorship.
  10. Companies must have the courage to include their workers in the shareholding of the companies. They need to give due recognition to unions and be willing to bring them onto boards. Many companies are already doing many of these things. They need to be applauded and emulated by others, for it is through creating shared value that we can ensure a sustainable industry that benefits all. Please be assured that Team South Africa stands ready to work with you as we set the mining industry on a new path of growth and renewal.