COSATU welcomes government’s announcement of a new mineral rights application system

06 February 2024

The Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) welcomes government’s announcement of a new mineral rights application system (cadastral).  This has been a long outstanding matter of massive concern to the Federation and our affiliate, the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), workers in the value chains and mining communities across South Africa. 

COSATU shares the deep concerns of industry that the current applications system has been nothing short of a calamity for the mining industry and thus the economy as a whole.  Mining rights applications have been stuck for years in a seemingly archaic and decrepit applications system in the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy.  Why this has been the case, is at best a reflection of chaos in a Department that has been stuck in a deep slumber for far too long.

We hope the progressive commitment by the Minister for Mineral Resources and Energy, Mr. G. Mantashe, that appointed service providers will install a modern, efficient and transparent system and the suffocating backlog of applications will be dealt with over the course of 2024.

The backlog in the Department processing and approving mining rights has had a devastating impact on a sector that is not only the backbone of the economy, but also a source of employment for over 440 000 mineworkers and a major source of revenue needed by the state to fund critical public services that society depends upon. 

This abysmal failure to approve new mining rights applications has brought to a halt critically needed investments in the sector and thus threatening the long-term security of thousands of badly needed mining jobs. 

Whilst we welcome the announcement and believe it could mark a major turn of fortunes for the industry in terms of investments, jobs and state revenue; the Federation will as Josef Stalin once correctly said, “Trust but verify” and continue to engage with government and monitor its implementation.  We will be requesting regular updates be provided to Organised Labour and Business at Nedlac to ensure this commitment is realised. 

Workers, the economy, public services and the nation can not afford any further obstacles in the unlocking of the mining industry and the economy’s growth.  COSATU will be watching government like a hawk and hold it accountable.

Issued by COSATU

For further information please contact:
Matthew Parks
Acting National Spokesperson & Parliamentary Coordinator
Cell: 082 785 0687