SOUTH African mines minister, Mosebenzi Zwane, should not have been allowed to speak at last week’s Mining Indaba conference in Cape Town, said BusinessLive. It was citing the comments of Neal Froneman, CEO of Sibanye-Stillwater, a precious metals company.
“It was a wonderful opportunity to showcase the changes in South Africa and improve perceptions, and we didn’t use it,” Froneman told the publication. “Progress around transformation has stalled because there is no legislation in place. We have no exploration taking place because we don’t have a minerals act,” he said.
According to BusinessLive, foreign investors were looking forward to seeing “the new face of South Africa” that Cyril Ramaphosa, South Africa’s deputy president, had announced at the World Economic Forum. Instead they got a man facing possible criminal charges for state capture who is blamed for all but destroying the industry, said BusinessLive. “It was a huge missed opportunity,” said Froneman.
In June last year, Zwane controversially published the details of a new Mining Charter, a document that sets down regulations for black economic empowerment in South Africa. The new version, however, was criticised by the mining sector as it did not accommodate any of the recommendations of the Chamber of Mines. It also introduced new rules the Chamber of Mines had not seen before.