Johannesburg - It is time for leaders in the South African mining industry to make transformation a reality, Deputy Mineral Resources Minister Godfrey Oliphant said on Wednesday.
“I know that we have the best of leaders but the leaders must rise to the sophistication of the challenges in the mining industry,” he told the 2013 mining lekgotla in Johannesburg.
“We can’t continue the blame game... We must take this collective blame as we go forward. The way to resolve a problem is to accept its existence.”
Oliphant was a member of a panel discussing transformation for growth within the mining industry.
He said there was much talk about transformation among mining bosses and other role-players, including government, but not enough action.
There had been 10 years of “transformation challenge” and it was time to do more because targets set had not all been met.
“We are getting a lot of dialogue...we are the best in doing that.”
Oliphant warned mining companies that the transformation deadline of May 1, 2014 still stood, and would be enforced.
Mining licences given to companies were given with the expectation that these firms would comply with the law of the country, he said.
Other problems in the industry were unemployment and inequality.
Collective bargaining and industrial relations should work towards finding resolution for the “seasons of strikes”.
Another ill was the environmental damage caused by mining, he told the lekgotla.
“The environmental degradation of mining still needs to be tackled. The challenges need to be tackled collectively,” Oliphant said. - Sapa