Mantashe says delayed roll-out of cadastral system one of the DMRE’s ‘biggest nightmares’

Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe

Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe

7th April 2022

By: Darren Parker

Creamer Media Contributing Editor Online


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Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe told delegates at the 2022 PGMs Industry Day, in Johannesburg, on April 6, that the roll-out of a state-of-the-art online central cadastral system – which the mining and exploration industry has been begging for over the past decade – was one of the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy's (DMRE’s) “biggest nightmares”.

He blamed the ongoing lack of implementation of a mineral rights cadastre on the sluggishness of the legal system.

“I gave the responsibility [of the cadastral system] to a lawyer, who has moved very slowly on it,” he said.

South Africa’s mineral rights are currently managed through the South African Mineral Resources Administration System (Samrad), which has been called dysfunctional and has been blamed for discouraging investment in South Africa’s mining industry and encouraging corruption owing to its opacity.

“I must admit that we need [a mineral rights cadastre]. It is urgent. If we don’t move on it, it is not going to happen. I hope that somebody who is technically astute will be able to take it over and do it [and] make it happen,” he said.

A cadastral system would reduce human inputs by incorporating automated processes, thereby significantly enhancing the reliability and transparency of the mineral regulatory system in South Africa.

By creating a system that applies to the entire mining life cycle, mining cadastres provide a tool by which governments may regulate the industry effectively, as well as monitor and regulate it through checks, balances and automated record keeping.

Several other African countries, including Botswana and Mozambique, have already implemented cadastral systems for managing mineral rights.

A cadastral system would log all properties in the country, specifying who is permitted where, for which commodity, where a right’s borders are and the expiry date of those rights. A minerals cadastre would list available mining or prospecting rights, properties currently under a mining or prospecting right and the expiry of currently held rights and ownership thereof.

However, what pundits have said would make minerals cadastres particularly useful for the mining industry, particularly the junior mining and prospecting sector, is that they would also contain all historical prospecting data generated by pervious exploration parties.

“I don’t sleep when I think of it because it makes the industry look very mediocre,” Mantashe lamented.

This came after he said in his speech that the DMRE was “ready to support measures that will boost international investment and ultimately South Africa's Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan”.

Edited by Chanel de Bruyn
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor Online



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