Investors in the SA mining industry now have certainty about what legislation expects them to do, according to Minister of Mineral Resources Gwede Mantashe, who gave the keynote address at the start of the 2019 Investing in African Mining Indaba.
After taking over from Mosebenzi Zwane in February 2018, Mantashe shepherded the revised Mining Charter through Cabinet. It was met with cautious optimism by industry employers body the Minerals Council.
Africa's biggest mining conference kicked off on Monday at the Cape Town International Convention Centre and will continue until Thursday.
"The policy and legislative framework were [in the past] marked with concern about uncertainty," he said. "That has been addressed and investors coming to South Africa now know what they need to do," Mantashe said.
Mantashe told delegates, including mining investors, labour leaders and his colleagues in government, that the state was on the verge of getting its act together in improving the mining industry.
He added the industry had responsibilities to fulfill in terms of occupational safety, regulation adherence and contributing to the country's gross domestic product.
Mantashe said the mining industry has been affected by the economic slowdown of the past decade.
"Growth from the global financial crisis has been fragile and uneven and in order for us to do better, we must work harder. It is profitable mining that [accrue benefits] from executives through to workers," Mantashe said.
Mantashe said he envisioned an economic scenario where mining companies are more profitable and contribute more to gross domestic product.
"We hope to build the mining sector's contribution to GDP up to 10% in the next five years," he said.
He said the time of mining companies seeking the interests of mining workers primarily without considering labour and communities was gone.
"The mining communities must be respected as that is where companies extract investment. They deserve to be respected," he said.