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Kimberley Process Working Group on Monitoring. The Kimberley process is a joint initative of governments, industry and civil society to stem the flow of conflict diamonds. This is the first time a country outside the European Union has taken up this position. The Working Group on Monitoring monitors impleMinister Zwane interacting with exhibitors at the 2016 China Mining Congress and Expo in Tianjin, China.

mentation of the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme by participants and is responsible for the peer review

Tackling illegal mining

mechanism. Botswana has been endorsed as the vice-

Another priority for the department is curbing illegal mining

chair of the Working Group. Both countries were expected

activities.

to take up these positions in January 2017, for a period

Illegal miners, also known as ‘zama zamas’, operate mainly in semi-used mines and do not only endanger themselves, but their communities as well. Minister Zwane says that working together, government and the relevant stakeholders have made strides in combating illegal mining and the trafficking of precious metals and diamonds. The department has established forums, which meet once

of three years.

Women and youth in mining The department is on a drive to involve and skill more youth and women in the mining sector. Youth summits, aimed at attracting young people to the mining industry, were held in Gauteng and KwaZuluNatal recently.

a month, in Mpumalanga, Free State, Gauteng and Northern

The department is also in the process of visiting all the

Cape, for the purpose of implementing measures to stamp

provinces where young people will be targeted for skills

out illegal mining activities.

development in the mining sector.

These forums comprise officials from the department, the

As part of the resolution taken at the summits, 22

National Prosecuting Authority, South African Police Service, as

procurement sessions have been held with different

well as officials from the South African Diamond and Precious

mining companies. These sessions are part of the journey

Metals Regulator, Department of Home Affairs, Council for

to advance youth, women and historically disadvantaged

Geoscience, municipalities affected by these activities, mining

individuals, and develop realistic programmes to mentor

companies and organised labour.

and support young people in the mining industry. This is

Operations by law enforcement agencies have netted the kingpins, who benefit the most from illegal mining.

in line with the goals of the National Development Plan and the Mining Charter.

“In the past we used to arrest the miners that were working

“While we acknowledge all the work that has been

for the kingpins. We were not able to crack down on the

done in changing the sector for the better since the

kingpins but now we are seeing more of the people who

dawn of democracy, we are also the first to admit that

work behind the scenes being arrested. We attribute this to

much more must still be done in order to ensure that the

teamwork,” adds Minister Zwane.

sector is meaningfully transformed, and that the wealth

The Kimberley Process South Africa was recently endorsed as the new chair of the

Public Sector Manager • December 2016 / January 2017

beneath our soil benefits all South Africans. We urge our stakeholders to continue to partner with us in this journey,” says the Minister.

15

PSM December/January Edition 2016/2017  

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