The country’s top mining houses should not be allowed to make a mockery of South Africa’s transformation agenda, either through fronting or by failing to uplift workers through ownership.
That’s the word from the president of the South African Mining Development Association, Bridgette Radebe, who briefed Parliament’s mineral resources oversight committee yesterday.
Radebe also had a go at the JSE-listed mining companies for the common practice of “transfer pricing” and the importing of manufactured goods from offshore instead of local beneficiation.
She said she found it “unfortunate” that a majority of companies import manufactured goods from offshore instead of manufacturing the goods locally, as this would stimulate job creation.
Radebe is the wife of Minister in the Presidency Jeff Radebe and the sister of Patrice Motsepe, South Africa’s wealthiest man, who made the bulk of his fortune in the mining sector.
Radebe is a mine owner in her own right and serves as the executive chairwoman of Mmakau Mining.
She urged the committee to look in particular at the issue of compliance with the Mining Charter.
The committee was also briefed by mining unions Amcu and NUM, as well as Solidarity.
The Chamber of Mines also made a presentation to the committee.
Radebe said: “Our concern is that, if you look at the 49 listed companies, how many have a black chief executive? How many of those listed companies have white or black women?
“And how many of those 49 listed companies are making sure that we do not employ foreign blacks, instead of promoting our local blacks and try to go and make a mockery of our transformation and say we are BEE, when the people are not from my village or your village and come from neighbouring countries?” Radebe asked.
She said she had nothing against neighbouring countries, but “we need to ensure that the workers are also being regarded as chief executives. Government does that; why can’t we?”
On foreign ownership and BEE, Radebe went as far as accusing certain companies of fronting.
Also addressing the committee, Solidarity general secretary Gideon du Plessis said foreign mine owners needed an “induction” to sensitise them to the country’s realities. - The Star