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Mantashe says lack of transparent mining cadastre is Mi...

Business Maverick

BUSINESS MAVERICK

Mantashe says lack of transparent mining cadastre is Mineral Resources’ biggest worry

Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe. (Photo: Flickr / GCIS)

South Africa lacks a publicly accessible online mining cadastre, which typically provides information on things such as existing mining rights and geological data.

Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe told the 2021 Platinum Group Metals (PGMs) Industry Day conference on Wednesday that the department’s “biggest worry” was the lack of a functional online mining cadastre seen as crucial to lend transparency to an opaque permitting system.

Mantashe made the remarks in response to a question about when such a system would be up and running. South Africa lacks a publicly accessible online mining cadastre, which typically provides information on things such as existing mining rights and geological data. By way of unflattering contrast, even Democratic Republic of Congo, which is hardly famed for transparency in its resource sector, has one.

This has been flagged as a key concern among investors and in early March the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy said in a presentation to Parliament that it had given itself six months to launch one to replace the dysfunctional Samrad system that has been a flop since it was initiated a decade ago. 

“That is our biggest worry as a department. We have given ourselves six months to get it right,” Mantashe said, adding that he has pressed his staff on the issue.

“There is a team working on that, it must be a transparent system, easy to use, and avoid corruption. And I asked the question yesterday, I said, ‘Does it take so long to get this right?’ They gave me all sorts of answers. And I am inviting ideas if you want to help us with that so that we can correct. It’s a terrible system.”

On energy policy, the minister reiterated that there was no limit on the amount of power that could be produced by self-generation projects if it was strictly for own use. 

“If you want to generate electricity for own use… you can do that without a licence, with no limits. Nobody talks about that,” he said. 

There has been some confusion on the issue, but Mantashe said if a company wants to sell surplus energy, a 10MW limit remains in place. DM/BM

Gallery

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All Comments 5

  • And therein lies the rub. If a company producing power wishes to feed surplus energy into the grid and be compensated for it, 10MW is the limit. There is no logic to this restriction when it comes to meeting SA’s compromised electrical energy needs, the decision is either idiotic or corrupt and is surely designed to protect the interests of Mantashe’s coal comrades, expensive Turkish power boat owners and eventually even more expensive nuclear build.

  • The logic is that surplus energy is likely to be offered when not needed. Eskom needs to build out infrastructure for no gain.

  • the government nationalised Mining rights into leases with the MPRDA in 2004 and therefore had 16 years to get their act together. The leases should be online in a cadastral database and it is not difficult. the IT tech has been around for 40 years and is not expensive even anymore.

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