New licensing system unlocks mineral resources 

The new mining rights applications system of unlocking the mining industry to as many players as possible marks a major turn of fortunes for the industry, resulting in the creation of new investments, job creation and the boosting of economic growth, which in turn will  
benefit the working class. 

Cosatu national spokesperson and parliamentary coordinator Matthew Parks, said the working class needed to see the unlocking of the mining industry, which must result in economic growth, something the union federation has been asking and waiting for in a long time. 

“We welcome the progressive commitment by the Minister of Mineral -Resources and Energy Gwede Mantashe, that the appointed service providers will install a modern, efficient and transparent system, and the suffocating backlog of applications will be dealt with over the course of this year,” said Parks. 

He said Cosatu would request regular updates to be provided to organised labour and business at the National Economic Development and Labour Council to ensure this commitment is expedited and no stone is left unturned to unlock the mining industry to its full potential. 

This is against the background of the department’s announcement that it has made progress in processing a huge mining licence applications backlog for the current financial year – in some instances estimated to be anything close to 3 000. 

“Cosatu welcomes the government’s announcement of a new mineral rights application system operator. This has been a matter of grave concern to the federation and our affiliate, the National Union of Mineworkers in the mining industry, value chains and mining communities across South Africa. 

“Cosatu shares the view of the industry that the current application system has been woefully inadequate and stifled investments and growth in the mining industry,” said Parks. 

The country’s share of global exploration spend is understood to have shrunk from a reasonable 5% last year to a measly 1%, and this decline has been largely attributed to “extremely poor regulation regime and archaic mineral rights application system.” 

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