While top management remains predominantly white and male, mining houses are battling to share the burden of community development
Mining companies have recorded an improvement in several elements of compliance with the 2010 Mining Charter, but have barely moved the needle on transforming upper-level management.
This is according to the latest transformation figures in a report released by the Minerals Council SA earlier this week.
Addressing the media about the report, Minerals Council SA senior executive for public affairs and transformation Tebello Chabana said black people were not well represented in the higher echelons of most mining houses.
“The representation of black people in management still has a long way to go, so does the representation of women because they only represent about 20% of the industry.”
Chabana said the report measured the mining industry’s compliance with the 2010 Mining Charter last year, which was the last year of its application, and assessed the road towards meeting the requirements of the 2018 Mining Charter.
The council commissioned the research project to assess the transformation progress made by its member companies, based on the companies’ submissions to the department of mineral resources and energy.
It focuses on five key transformation elements – ownership, procurement, employment equity, human resource development and mine community development.
The report also shows that white males still dominate strategic positions, constituting 38% of top management and 47% of senior management.
Chabana said meaningful economic participation, which is required by the charter for broad-based black economic empowerment, meant that three key requirements – entrepreneurship, employees and communities – had to be met, but some companies did not meet them.
“You could be 100% owned [by either of the three elements] and not meet the meaningful economic participation definition because you need all three beneficiaries that are defined in the charter,” he said.
Chabana added that one of the factors that influenced the report’s outcome was that some BEE deals were concluded before the implementation of the 2010 Mining Charter.
“We would like the charter to be for a longer period so that mining companies can know what’s in store for the future and can plan long term,” Chabana said.
Alex Khumalo, council head of social performance, said in some towns there seemed to be heavy reliance on mining while absolving other industries of their social responsibilities.
Khumalo said that, in a recent meeting with the Emalahleni Local Municipality, the council proposed that a multisectoral forum be established so that other active sectors in the area could contribute to economic development.
“Although Emalahleni is not a mining town, it is a town that is dominated by mining but has other active industries. No one ever looks at those industries to ensure that they are part of community economic development.
“In our meeting, the municipality’s focus was on getting the mines [to start a community development forum], but we are were saying that at some point some of these mines will close and we do not want another Welkom.”