More than 5,000 jobs are at risk at Sibanye-Stilwater's mining operations in Marikana.

Johannesburg - Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe should immediately scrap the mining charter and open the mining sector to improve competition, innovation, and investment, the Democratic Alliance said.

"The Democratic Alliance notes with concern that more than 5000 miners will lose their jobs at Sibanye-Stillwater. This comes on the back of ongoing job losses in the mining sector, and is indicative of government's failure to promote and encourage mining investment," DA shadow minister of mineral resources Kevin Mileham said in a statement.

This should come as no surprise, given Mantashe's gaffe in front of 800 mining investors at a conference in Australia earlier this month, where he promoted a fictitious mineral called "hazenile", and the disastrous implementation of Mining Charter Three.

"Minister Mantashe should immediately scrap the mining charter and open our mining sector to more competition, innovation, and investment. He must ensure that mines have sufficient electricity at an affordable price point, by easing the restrictions on independent power production, specifically for own use, and he must immediately review our mineral rights administration to make it easier to apply for and obtain prospecting and exploration licences and ensure transparency in the process."

If Mantashe was prepared to be bold and "break his unholy alliance with the unions", jobs could be saved and employment in the mining sector could grow. The DA would continue to seek job creating solutions to address the crisis in the mining sector and the economy, Mileham said.

African News Agency (ANA)