22 April 2010
The IFP is very pleased to see that the Mining
Department has been able to retain most of its staff members. The
Department is currently faced with some serious challenges and they
will need all of the support that they can get in order to overcome
One of these challenges is being able to cope with
a budget that seems insufficient to the task at hand.
Within the industry itself we have the following
Small Scale Mining
We support the idea of small scale mining projects
as this is an excellent vehicle for allowing disadvantaged
communities to enter into the industry.
There are however a few obstacles to this process
which must be overcome, the most notable being the obtaining of the
necessary finance in order to start up such an enterprise. Most
small scale miners have little difficulty in acquiring the requisite
prospecting licence, it's the next step, namely that of obtaining
finance that hinders them from entering the industry as finance
houses are loathe to grant money to what they deem a high risk
start-up. This leaves the small scale miner with no other
alternative than to seek private finance. The problem with this is
that most private financiers require exorbitant returns on
investment and/or shares in the start-up business and this results
in the license holder being sidelined.
The IFP would like to see a greater involvement
from the Department in respect of providing or even sourcing
technical and financial support for small scale mining individuals.
Beneficiation of our natural resources must begin
as soon as possible. It is an issue that we have skirted around for
far too long. It is a big step, but its rewards for South Africa
will be just as big. It will create employment and boost the mining
sector thus greatly benefiting our economy as a whole.
International Investors must be encouraged to
invest in our mining sector. A favourable climate must be created,
one that lends itself to South Africa being chosen as the investment
destination of choice. Loose talk by certain individuals advocating
nationalization does not inspire confidence with International
Investors and will not assist us with attracting investment into our
Illegal mining operations are another area of
serious concern, not only because of the many injuries and
fatalities that occur, but also because of the fact that this
unlawful activity is openly financed by certain individuals who seem
to operate above the law and without fear of any criminal sanction .
Where are the police? Without finance and/or market demand these
practices would cease to occur. Our country has one of the top gold
and diamond policing units, why are they being so ineffective in
curbing this illegal industry?
Sustainable development in the mineral and mining
sector as well as the creation of employment should be our key focus
at this economic juncture.
Our country has great mineral wealth which can and
should play a significant role in our rapid emergence from the
current global economic crisis.
The IFP supports the vote.
I thank you
Contact: Eric Lucas MP, 082 557 2481.