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Symposium highlights importance of supporting SMMEs, DMRE to provide funds

Mineral Resources and Energy Deputy Minister Dr Nobuhle Nkabane

Mineral Resources and Energy Deputy Minister Dr Nobuhle Nkabane

11th April 2024

By: Sabrina Jardim

Creamer Media Online Writer

     

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Amid several challenges facing the South African mining sector, such as loadshedding and logistics constraints, small, medium-sized and microenterprises (SMMEs) are crucial for the growth of the sector and the mainstream economy, Mineral Resources and Energy Deputy Minister Dr Nobuhle Nkabane has said.

During her keynote address at national mineral organisation Mintek’s artisanal and small-scale and emerging miner’s symposium, on April 11, Nkabane highlighted the importance of creating a conducive environment for artisanal and small-scale miners to operate, as well as have access to funding.

“The fact of the matter is that our country's development will be spearheaded by SMMEs, including the artisanal and small-scale miners.”

Hence, to facilitate and open funding opportunities, she noted that the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE), in January, encouraged artisanal and small-scale miners to apply for the funding designated to assist with financial provision for rehabilitation and capital equipment.

While the department initially planned to offer financial support to at least 13 artisanal and small-scale miners, with a majority share of the funding reserved for women small-scale miners, Nkabane said the department had shortlisted 21 companies eligible for financial support, in collaboration with the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC).

Additionally, the DMRE, in partnership with the IDC, launched an exploration fund in February to assist qualifying enterprises in the mining industry to conduct exploration work, accelerate new mineral discoveries, increase access to orebodies for junior miners and promote economic inclusion.

“We hope to see more of you benefiting from both the exploration fund and the artisanal and small-scale mining fund,” she expressed.

However, she argued that capacity building must be enhanced by means of an efficient accounting programme, compliance with relevant legislation on governance and industrial relations, and a comprehensive marketing platform.

“We must further focus on information and knowledge sharing to enhance the quality, accessibility and relevant information or data to these miners. Lastly, we must focus on skills and human capacity building by elaborating on our existing skills development programmes, and research institutions for developing and piloting technological solutions and exposure to international best practices.”

Edited by Chanel de Bruyn
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor Online

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