Mining must transform: Shabangu

By Drum Digital
13 June 2012

There was no future for the mining industry without meaningful transformation, Mineral Resources Minister Susan Shabangu said on Tuesday.

"Meaningful transformation of the mining industry is about more than just governance and administration," she said at the Gordon Institute of Business Science in Johannesburg, according to a copy of her speech.

Implementation of employment equity was unsatisfactory, she said, following an audit of mining charter compliance reports by her department.

Progress was worse at senior management level, especially in decision making structures which lacked proper demographic representation, she said.

The audit revealed rampant "fronting" by women on behalf of men, and there was a lack of willingness from suppliers of capital goods to transform and transfer skills to black economic empowerment (BEE) groups.

Other problems included unilateral changes to approved social and labour plans, and BEE groups only contracted to handle peripheral services such as catering and cleaning.

The mineral resources department had put in place administrative process to address transformation problems and non-compliance, Shabangu said. Transformation was not just about improved governance from the state, but about the industry taking responsibility and showing leadership.

This meant actively involving historically disadvantaged South Africans and women in management and the decision-making process, said the minister.

"Meaningful transformation will also require that communities are engaged and brought on board as partners, and not as inconveniences or vacant vessels to be managed," she said.

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