Zwane didn’t consult me on mining licenses issue – Oliphant

Deputy Minister Godfrey Oliphant says he is not always consulted by Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane despite having a vast knowledge of the sector.

FILE: Deputy Minister of Mineral Resources Godfrey Oliphant. Picture: DIRCO

JOHANNESBURG - Deputy Mineral Resources Minister Godfrey Oliphant says he wasn’t consulted by Minister Mosebenzi Zwane before a notice to stop new prospecting and mining licenses was issued.

On Tuesday, the Chamber of Mines served the department with an urgent application to review and set aside the notice.

Speaking on the Xolani Gwala Show, Oliphant says he is not always consulted by Zwane despite having a vast knowledge of the sector.

"Sometimes it’s uncomfortable but those are the times I accept that the Constitution gives powers to ministers to do certain things and he does not have to consult with the deputy minister. But clearly, it’s better if we consult."

Zwane has been implicated in a number of alleged fraudulent contracts with the Gupta family.

The minister is accused of helping the family to land a contract with Optimum coal mine and allegedly taking money from the Free State Vrede Dairy Farm project to pay for that Gupta wedding at Sun City.

Oliphant, however, says he himself is not involved in any state capture.

The deputy minister has also expressed concerns about issues facing the mining sector, including massive job cuts.

This week it emerged that over 2,600 workers at the Bokoni platinum mine in Limpopo will lose their jobs.

Last month, AngloGold Ashanti disclosed its plans to retrench more than 8,000 workers.

Oliphant says it is a difficult period for the mining sector.

LISTEN: Deputy Mineral Resources Minister comments on job losses, mining licences