Press Release - 30 June 2015

In late 2012, in the aftermath of the tragic events in Marikana, I established an Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC) for the Revitalisation of Distressed Mining Communities to give effect to the Special Presidential Package for the revitalisation of mining districts and their labour sending areas. 

The mandate of the IMC is to oversee the implementation of integrated and sustainable human settlements, improve living and working conditions of mine workers and determine the development path of mining towns and the historic labour sending areas.   

The fundamental mandate of the IMC is to change the face of mining in South Africa working with business, labour and other sectors.

We wish to report the following progress:

Overall R18 billion has been dedicated to ongoing work in distressed mining communities, benefitting the following provinces: Eastern Cape; Free State; Gauteng; KwaZulu Natal; Limpopo; Mpumalanga and North West.   The bulk of this funding is from government, with mining companies contributing approximately a third of the funding.    

We have undertaken a socio-economic diagnostic study of the 15 prioritised mining towns and 12 prioritised labour sending areas to better understand the extent of the challenges in each town and to determine the most appropriate actions to address these.  

1. In changing the face of mining, we are also drawing lessons from other countries.  With the support of the Australia-Africa Partnership Facility we are benchmarking the policy and regulatory system governing the mining sectors in Australia, Chile, South Africa, and Zambia.  

Integrated and sustainable human settlements, led by the Department of Human Settlements and supported by its agencies 

About 66 public sector housing projects are currently being implemented in the 15 prioritised mining towns.

In the 2014/15 financial year more than R419m was spent of the ring-fenced budget for informal settlement upgrading in prioritised mining towns in Limpopo, Free State, Gauteng, Mpumalanga and North West provinces. Overall over 7000 units have been delivered in the mining towns.  For 2015/16 financial year the Department of Human Settlements has aimed to improve this delivery figure and has ring-fenced R1 billion that is anticipated to deliver approximately 19 000 housing opportunities in mining towns. 

In Marikana, two human settlement projects are being completed that will deliver over 500 units, built on land donated by Lonmin. About 592 hectares of land has been acquired by municipalities supported by the Department of Human Settlements housing agency for the purposes of human settlement development in the prioritized mining towns. The majority of this land is in the Fetagomo and Rustenburg Local Municipalities. A further 5,646 hectares has been identified for acquisition.

In addition to the ring-fenced human settlement grant funding for distressed mining towns, the Department of Human Settlements' housing agencies have contributed over R1 billion to integrated human settlements within mining towns as follows: 

  • 17 341 loans of R239m for incremental housing from the Rural Housing Loan Fund (RHLF); 
  • R673m delivering 3405 units (mortgage and social housing) from the National Housing Finance Corporation (NHFC);
  • Bridging loans of R95.6m for 1177 affordable housing units and 
  • R36m for 4546 subsidy units from Nurcha's Construction Finance and Programme Management.

Government embraces partnerships because we understand that when working together, we can achieve much more that leads to a greater impact than when working in isolation.   Stakeholders in business, labour and government have actively supported and participated in formulating government's strategic approach for accommodating mineworkers in decent housing and living conditions in mining towns. The National Department of Human Settlements is currently finalising partnerships with several mining houses to develop mine worker housing in Limpopo, Mpumalanga, Gauteng and North West provinces. 

Improved socio-economic conditions, led by the dti, Department of Co-operative Governance, Department of Traditional affairs, Department Rural Development and Land Reform  

The Department of Trade and Industry, Economic Development Department (EDD) and the Department of Small Business Development (DSBD) are facilitating both large and small scale industrial projects in the 15 mining towns.  These are particularly critical in creating business and employment opportunities. In addition, the dti is providing support to selected municipalities or regions in the development and implementation of Regional Industrial Development Plans.

These include:

  • Interventions in Bojanala and the Greater Tubatse local municipalities for the establishment of a Platinum Group Metals (PGM) Special Economic Zone. Feasibility studies, business plans and appointment of a Project Management Unit have been completed. The SEZ designation and land acquisition is also being finalised;
  • The establishment of an Agri-hub in Bojanala, Madibeng and Marikana for agriculture production & processing facility for communities; 
  • The establishment of an agro-processing SEZ in the labour sending area of OR Tambo District Municipality with feasibility studies and business plans completed. The land for the SEZ has been secured and the appointment of a project management unit completed; and
  • The Vulindlela Industrial Park Revitalisation initiative in King Sabata Dalindyebo (KSD) Municipality. This includes a multi-sectoral business park to promote sustainable manufacturing investments into the region.        

2. Improved working conditions of mine workers led by the Department of Labour

The Department of Health (DoH) together with the Departments of Labour and Mineral Resources are working towards alignment of the industry's occupational health and safety policy and the required legislative changes to facilitate ease of compensation and other benefits towards an enhanced social protection system. This will also include the positive reorganisation of the compensation system and access to benefits for ex and current mineworkers. The Department of Mineral Resources (DMR) is employing mine accident and occupational diseases prevention mechanisms through improved mine inspections, audits, investigations and monitoring of occupational exposure levels.

To date, the DMR has given additional focus on enforcement and inspections through 40 regional medical inspectors, analysis of annual medical reports from the mines' provision of standards on workplace exposures, implementing inspection and audit tools for occupational health services, promotion of occupational health in the mining industry and engaging in reviewing research relevant to occupational medicine in the mining industry.

Furthermore the DMR and DoH are employing the following strategic interventions to promote healthy and safe working conditions. These include: 

  • Ensuring the reduction in falls of ground accidents by 20% on an annual basis,
  • Ensuring reduction in rock-falls accidents by 20% on an annual basis,
  • Actively promoting awareness activities on the National Strategic Plan on HIV, STIs and TB,
  • Preventing personal over-exposure to silica dust, and
  • Promoting active linkage of dust exposure to medical surveillance

The DoH has established one stop service centers to bring health and compensation services to former and current mine workers in the mining towns and in labour sending areas.  One stop service centers have been established in Mthatha in the Eastern Cape as well as Carletonville in Gauteng. The Mthatha centre is fully funded by government and approximately 3000 ex-mine workers have already made use of the centre's services. The Carletonville centre has been established with partial funding from the Chamber of Mines for capital costs and operations. To date over 1500 current and ex-miners have already made use of the Carltonville centre's services. More one stop service centers will be established in other provinces, beginning in the Northern Cape - Kuruman (2015/16) and Limpopo - Burgersfort (2015/16). This also includes establishing mobile units in neighboring countries during 2015/16.

3. Decent living conditions for mine workers and meaningful contribution to the development trajectory of mining towns and labour sending areas, led by Department of Mineral resources

Concerted focus and support is being provided by the IMC towards improving the implementation of the Mining Charter. 

The migrant labour system has been the backbone of the mining industry in South Africa and continues to have an enduring impact on both mining towns and rural labour sending areas.  Stakeholders in the mining sector are currently considering a recently completed report on improving key elements of the migrant labour system in the mining industry.  

We continuously strive to improve and enhance our governance processes and to this end have undertaken two evaluation exercises within government. The first takes a closer look at improving the relevance and effectiveness of the environmental governance legislation in mining and its implementation whilst the second evaluation being considered, focuses on evaluating the implementation of the Mining Charter in order to strengthen the realization of the objectives of this Charter.  

Press Release Date: 
Tuesday, June 30, 2015