Today's Labour News

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southafricalogoBusiness Times reports that the Department of Mineral Resources & Energy (DMRE) is looking into revamping its licensing regime to make it easy for artisanal mining to operate legally.

It hopes the legalisation will discourage dangerous illegal mining, which costs the economy up to R70bn a year. Since introducing the artisanal and small-scale mining policy framework two years ago, artisanal mining has remained informal, and its contribution to job creation and GDP has not been counted. Makgatho Machaka, DMRE director for artisanal and small-scale mining, told the Council for Mineral Technology’s inaugural symposium on Thursday that the ultimate aim was to introduce a separate policy for artisanal mining. Machaka said the policy would close the gap while the department formulated regulations for artisanal miners in the long run. Artisanal mining, known as “pick and shovel”, refers to traditional and customary mining operations that do not have mining rights or permits. Small-scale mining entails a prospecting or mining operation with a permit but not employing specialised prospecting or mechanised mining technologies. Gwebinkundla Qonde, special adviser to DMRE minister of mineral, pointed out the absence of proper regulation for artisanal mining and poor government support has allowed illegal mining to thrive. Thabo Kekana, DMRE deputy director-general for programmes and projects noted: “Artisanal mining is not yet formalised, there is no clear definition. We are saying let us draw from what we have and formalise them so they can have an identity and we are able to say ‘you are not a zama-zama, this is a small-scale miner’.”

  • Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Dineo Faku at Business Times (subscriber access only)

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