“This momentous achievement is one of a kind not only in South Africa but the world over,”
NORTHERN Cape Premier Sylvia Lucas has welcomed recent developments in the local mining industry which will enable thousands of small-scale miners to operate legitimately.
Lucas and the Deputy Minister of Mineral Resources, Godfrey Oliphant, hosted an event last week to celebrate the “historic and watershed” achievement of issuing mining permits to illegal miners.
“Thousands of small-scale miners gathered at the Mayibuye Centre to celebrate in song and dance at the official handing over of mining permits by the stakeholders,” said the spokesperson for the Premier’s Office, Monwabisi Nkompela, explaining that in March 2017 the premier had received a memorandum from the artisanal miners amid growing tensions between illegal miners and the private sector.
“She promptly attended and set up a team led by the Legal Services Unit in the Office of the Premier (OTP) to effectively assist in legalising small-scale mining operations.”
The OTP legal team then convened numerous meetings between Ekapa Mining, the Sol Plaatje Municipality, the Swedish Housing Company, the SAPS, the artisanal miners and the Department of Mineral Resources (DMR), resulting in the successful applications for two mining permits which were granted in April 2018
“This momentous achievement is one of a kind not only in South Africa but the world over,” Nkompela added.
“It does not only speak to the transformation in the mining industry but improving the lives of those living in abject poverty; and by legalising small-scale mining, artisanal miners are able to provide for their families and grow the economy.”
Lucas conveyed her support and promised continuous guidance from her office, especially the Legal Services Unit, to ensure that the artisanal miners comply with the legal instruments in the mining sector.
“Furthermore, the Premier’s Office will continue to engage with communities in eliminating illegal mining in the Province. Government will do everything in its capacity to ensure that we create a conducive environment for people to empower themselves economically.”