Mine bosses must 'adapt to change'

The Deputy Minister of mining has urged mine bosses to adapt to the changing landscape of the industry.

Mining Affected Communities United in Action (Macua) protestors outside the Mining Lekgotla at the Sandton Convention Centre, 27 August 2013. Picture: Govan Whittles/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - The Department of Mineral Resources has called on leaders in mining to adapt to the changing landscape of the industry and to address transformation, which remains very slow.

Deputy Minister Godfrey Oliphant is discussing transformation with unions and business experts at the second annual Mining Lekgotla currently underway at the Sandton Convention Centre.

Oliphant says South Africa's mining laws on transformation are comprehensive, but the biggest obstacle is implementation.

"We've had a lot of dialogue. One area that we've got to get right is taking decisions and actually implementing them."

He says mine bosses need to step up to the plate of an ever changing industry.

"The leaders must rise to the sophistication of the challenges of today in the mining industry. We can't continue the blame game."

Oliphant is one of the panelists who are discussing how to speed up transformation and is also expected to address the role of women in mining.

Earlier todaym Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe delivered the keynote address.

He said South African mining houses were able to achieve super profits and compete on the global stage due to the mass exploitation of workers before 1994.

Motlanthe said the country's mining industry remained a prisoner of its apartheid past through ancient practices such as migrant labour.

"One of these undesirable practices that need immediate attention is the migrant labour system which continues to be a scar on the face of a democratic South Africa."

The lekgotla is a partnership between the Chamber of Mines, the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) and the department.

Meanwhile, the mining industry remains unstable due to ongoing labour disputes.