Govt earmarks R2,1bn for mineworker housing

But mining companies must still follow through with their social responsibility commitments.

Mineral Resources Minister Ngoako Ramatlhodi. Picture: Sapa.

JOHANNESBURG - Mineral Resources Minister Ngoako Ramatlhodi says the allocation of R2,1 billion to build houses for mineworkers doesn't release companies from their social responsibility commitments.

Government yesterday announced the money would be used to improve the living conditions of mineworkers over the next three years.

A total of R290 million has been allocated for the upgrading of informal settlements in mining areas this year.

The decision follows a review of the mining sector conducted by the Presidency which brought together mining houses unions and civil society.

Ramatlhodi says companies need to do their bit.

"The industry will still play out their role of social responsibility."

Meanwhile, the mechanisation of South Africa's mining processes seems to have been endorsed by labour unions following a meeting in Pretoria with the presidential forum for a sustainable industry.

Representatives from some of the biggest mining houses, the Chamber of Mines, unions and government met with President Jacob Zuma yesterday to discuss the implementation of the sustainability agreement.

The framework entails a review of mineworkers' working and living conditions as well as what is necessary to ensure stability and continuous production.