Department of Mineral Resources
10 July 2019
R20 million has been set aside in the current financial year to improve and develop an integrated mining licensing system over the next two years.
Speaking during the 2019 Mineral Resources Budget Vote Speech in parliament, the mineral resources and energy minister, Gwede Mantashe, added that turnaround times to process licence applications are under review.
“Timeframes must be short, without having to effect major legislative amendments, by adopting more effective and efficient internal processes. This will ensure that we are more responsive to the needs and requirements of our applicants,” he said.
Reference was also made to a draft Resolution tabled by South Africa and other member states to the United Nations Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice in May 2019.
The draft resolution is designed to combat transnational, organized crime and its links to illicit trafficking in precious metals and illegal mining by, for example, enhancing the security of supply chains of precious metals.
“Member States were urged, in line with their respective domestic legal framework, to consider criminalising illicit trafficking in precious metals and illegal mining, particularly by organised criminal groups.”
Member states were also encouraged to introduce legislation “necessary to prevent, investigate and prosecute illicit trafficking in precious metals”.
The minister confirmed that the department will work together with, and support other departments, on a national strategy to eliminate the illicit mining and trade of precious metals and diamonds.
The department was also collaborating with the health department to “investigate the capacity and possibility of mine hospitals to extend healthcare facilities to families of mine employees and surrounding communities”.
With regard to the recent merging of the mineral resources and energy departments, the minister declared that mining and energy are critical to economic growth and development.
“Merging the departments asserts their mutually reinforcing nature; and, thus enable streamlining of processes, integration in the value chain from upstream to downstream, and ensure alignment of the policy and regulatory framework for stability and investment.”