Cape Town - “We will continue to pursue direct state involvement in mining,” President Jacob Zuma said during the delivery of his State of the Nation Address (SONA).
Zuma said mining has always been the “backbone” of South Africa’s economy and an important foreign exchange earner.
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“We welcome the recovery in commodity prices which has resulted in an upswing in mining output. This augurs well for the industry.”
Zuma echoed Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane’s utterances earlier this week at the 2017 Mining Indaba when he said the Mining Charter is currently being reviewed.
“The Charter seeks to recognise the internationally accepted right of the state to exercise sovereignty over all the mineral and petroleum resources within the Republic,” Zuma said.
“It is also aimed at helping the country to de-racialise the ownership of the mining industry. This will help to ensure the sustainability of this industry.”
Zuma expressed the wish that discussions between government and business on the Charter will yield results so that the process can be finalised.
In addition, he said the Minerals and Petroleum Resources Development Amendment (MPRDA) Bill was sent back to Parliament so that issues relating to the public consultation process undertaken by provincial legislatures can be addressed.
“We trust that it shall be processed and returned for finalisation without much delay so that the concerns relating to uncertainty raised by business can be resolved.”
Zwane said earlier in the week that the MPRDA Bill will be finalised by June this year.