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Zwane defends himself against claims he could sink mining industry

Mosebenzi Zwane seemed unfazed by the Chamber of Mines view that his leadership is disastrous for the mining sector possibly because he’s heard it all before.

FILE: Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane. Picture: GCIS

CAPE TOWN - Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane has defended himself against criticism that his approach to the transformation of the sector is one-sided and that the industry has lost confidence in his leadership.

Zwane was speaking on the sidelines of the four-day Mining Indaba in Cape Town on Monday afternoon.

Earlier on Monday, Chamber of Mines CEO Roger Baxter tore into Zwane, reportedly warning that Zwane’s actions had the potential to sink the industry.

A Chamber of Mines survey published on Monday suggests that a third of South Africa's largest mining companies are not considering any new investments in the sector in 2018 while one of them may even decide to pull out of the country.

Zwane seemed unfazed by the Chamber of Mines view that his leadership is disastrous for the mining sector possibly because he’s heard it all before.

His department and the industry have squared off over the contested third version of the Mining Charter and other issues, including the lengthy delay in finalising crucial mining legislation to provide the policy certainty that will draw investors.

Zwane's insisting his door is open.

“When we started in 2015, we declared on open door policy to everyone to engage.”

But the minister says this doesn’t mean there’ll be agreement on everything. He’s accused the media of being on the side of the mining companies and says some things are non-negotiable.

“We want to repeat that there are issues where we are not going to do anything else. The safety of the workers in the mines, the issue of transformation in the sector those are the issues that must happen.”

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