To: All Media Editors, Journalists and News Outlets
MACUA WAMUA Rejects the Portfolio Committee of Mineral Resources and Energy claim that the solution to the problem of Illegal Mining will be resolved by an General Laws Amendment Bill.
MACUA has noted the media conference addressed by the Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Mineral Resources and Energy on Sunday 27 August 2023, in which the Chairperson claimed that the challenge of Illegal Mining will be resolved by the introduction of a General Laws Amendment Bill.
First. The Chairperson seems to be under the misconception that a General Laws Amendment Bill will be able to resolve the multiple policy and substantive shortcomings of the current MPRDA. As we have pointed out to him, and the Portfolio Committee, on numerous occasions, and as the Portfolio Committee’s own report indicates, the current MPRDA which governs the mining sector, is urgently in need of substantive changes in order to regulate the sector and bring it in line with the realities on the ground. This will require extensive engagements with various stakeholders, and may produce some controversial outcomes. A General Laws Amendment Bill can only be relevant if the Bill seeks to streamline and maintain the coherence of the legal framework by addressing minor issues across multiple laws in a single piece of legislation. This will clearly not be the case.
Second. The Chairperson has not outlined any type of time frame, and what he deliberately left out of his statement, is that the PC has no intention of taking any of these issues forward during this term of the Sixth Parliament, and that effectively, nothing will be processed through Parliament until at least the third term of 2024
Third. The Chairperson also conveniently failed to mention that MACUA petitioned Parliament in 2020 to amend the MPRDA, but because the Minister, Gwede Mantashe, was opposed to ensuring the rights of communities were protected as per various court judgements, that the Portfolio Committee allowed amendments from the Fifth parliament to lapse and the Portfolio
Committee has done nothing to protect the rights and interests of communities, and accordingly they have neglected the Illegal Mining problem, while hundreds of black lives are lost.
This is yet another example of the devastation that this portfolio Committee and government have presided over and the abject failure that has led to deep inequality and growing criminality in the sector.
We call on the Portfolio Committee and Parliament to urgently start the process of amending the MPRDA, or to bear the responsibility of presiding over the blood bath of deaths, and the ongoing criminalisation of black bodies, which in its anti-black character, far outstrips any actions of the colonisers of the past.
For more information
Gilbert Moela – 079-777-6175