The Chamber of Mines South Africa has welcomed President Jacob Zuma’s emphasis on mining as a key driver of economic growth and employment creation in his State of the Nation Address.

In his address the President indicated that the economy needs to grow at least at 5% per annum to meaningfully create employment. “We believe mining has a key role to play in realising this higher growth rate,” the Chamber said in a statement, enthusiastically welcoming the pronouncement on the streamlining of the mining licensing system to be completed in under 30 days. “This is a clear demonstration by government that it is committed to providing regulatory certainty therefore encouraging new investments in the sector.”

“We hope that this will indeed yield benefits, new green fields projects and further expansion of current operations within the sector,” said Mike Teke, President of the Chamber of Mines. “We would like to see robust action within NEDLAC on areas that cross cutting sectors need to cooperate on. More synergies on the various task teams that are working in these areas need to be streamlined to yield much needed results.”

“The sector remains committed to the current review process that the Department of Mineral Resources is undertaking. As the Chamber we have encouraged our members to constructively engage in this process. We are proud as a sector on the progress we have made in relation to transformation, skills development and safety, but at the same time we acknowledge the depth of our country’s social challenges and recognise that more still needs to be done,” said Ms Khanyisile Kweyama, Vice President of the Chamber.