SOUTH Africa’s Department of Mineral Resources (DMR) gave further evidence it was increasingly taking a unilateral approach to regulating the industry as it unveiled today virtual unknown Thabo Mokoena as its director-general – a development the Chamber of Mines said had caught it by surprise.
This was after South Africa’s yesterday cabinet endorsed the appointment of Mokoena, an advocate, who will replace acting director-general, David Msiza.
The Chamber of Mines said in a statement today that while it acknowledged the appointment was the prerogative of the mines minister, Mosebenzi Zwane, he had nonetheless departed from the practice of first consulting with the industry.
“Consultation with key stakeholders such as the Chamber of Mines and other relevant stakeholders is important before the announcement is made and as the Chamber we have been caught by surprise by the announcement,” it said.
It also questioned the “depth of his [Mokoena’s] mining knowledge” at a time when the sector is under pressure “… more so given that the industry has a twin challenge of attracting investments and growing the industry; and is also dealing with the challenges of transformation and inclusive growth”.
“For the industry leadership capabilities are very important to deal with such imperatives which are immediate for the industry and the country,” the Chamber said.
Citing the DMR, Business Live said that Mokoena was an advocate and former secretary of the Free State legislature. He had a law degree from the University of the Western Cape and a postgraduate diploma in law.
The development doesn’t bode well for hopes that the Chamber of Mines may get sight of redrafts to the Mining Charter which Zwane said would be recorded in the government gazette this month.
The announcement also seems to fly in the face of comments made by Zwane in which he said he would engage with all stakeholders regarding his office.
Commenting on proposals to redraft the mining charter, Zwane said in a speech at the Mining Indaba in February that his department had “… consulted extensively with stakeholders”.
“We call upon investors to come to South Africa and engage us frankly as we move towards transformation of our economy. We will continue to have an open door policy,” he said.
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