Africa’s time, indeed, has arrived-Shabangu
The South African Minister of Mineral Resources, Mrs Susan Shabangu has stated that the African continent is focused on accelerating socio-economic development to eradicate poverty and inequality to enhance the living standards of the people.
It is in that respect, she explained, that African Union Heads of State adopted the African Mining Vision as a framework for integrated development of mining in the continent.
“Africa’s time, indeed, has arrived. We shall seize our future with both hands, and not fail,” Mrs Shabangu said as she spoke at the opening ceremony of the 20th Investing in African Mining Indaba conference in Cape Town Tuesday.
She called on African governments to work together to weather the storm of current short term domestic and international circumstances to move the continent forward.
South African story
Mrs Shabangu said the country had come a long way in the evolution of the post-apartheid mining regulatory reform, which started when the ruling party first developed the “Ready to Govern” document in 1992, and culminated in the country’s White Paper on minerals and mining policy.
She explained that the post-apartheid regulatory framework had unleashed the strong potential for the mining industry of the future, transformed ownership patterns, diversified mining, created employment as well as ended the century old male domination of the industry.
“Furthermore, the number of mines in operation has increased exponentially, as well as the corresponding revenue generated, while women mine workers grew from an insignificant number to 10 per cent currently,” she added.
Building on the continuum and jurisprudence of the democratic government, the current administration, according to the minister, developed and implemented the “Strategy for sustainable growth and meaningful transformation of South Africa’s mining industry” which main objective sought to place the country’s industry along a trajectory of sustainable growth.
Health and safety of mineworkers
Mrs Shabangu who is also a Member of Parliament noted that the health and safety of mineworkers was a hallmark of human dignity which explained why there had been significant improvement in the health and safety of mineworkers in South Africa.
“Meanwhile, the Mine Health and Safety Act is being amended to strengthen provisions that further encourage best practice relating to the impact that mining activities have on the health and safety of mineworkers and affected communities,” she said.
A minute of silence was observed in memory of Nelson Mandela who died on December 5, 2013 at the age of 95.
Mrs Shabangu credited the late former president with the establishment of a social order which guaranteed the freedom of the individual based on the rule of law, social justice and respect for fundamental human rights.
The annual conference which is the biggest mining event in the world assembled an approximately 8,000 global professionals representing 2,100 international companies from 110 countries.
Source Daily Graphic
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