27/03/2018 09:40 BST | Updated 27/03/2018 09:40 BST

Mantashe Voices Concerns Over Zama-Zamas, Mining Charter and Deaths

"We want the industry to be competitive and contribute to the economy, so that we can create jobs and get more people involved."

Siphiwe Sibeko / Reuters
Minister of Mineral Resources Gwede Mantashe

Minister of Mineral Resources Gwede Mantashe said his department is moving swiftly to finalise the Mining Charter, so that everyone can "get into the business of mining". According to EWN, Mantashe, who was speaking on the Karima Brown Show on Monday, said the charter could be concluded by May.

Once we come together and there's agreement; we will publish this charter and gazette it.Gwede Mantashe

"To me, if we are hard at work, it is doable. We are going to look into all those issues that people are concerned with. There will be other issues raised by other people, and we'll take them into account," the minister said

"Once we come together and there's agreement, we will publish this charter and gazette it. And in my own view, [we] should move with speed, because we can't afford not to do that."

Mantashe also spoke about how the department planned to combat illegal mining, and how "formalising 'artisanal mining' and 'junior mining' to regulate them" would help deal with zama-zamas (illegal miners).

"The most dangerous people are not the people who go underground and steal that gold. It is the network that is sourcing that gold at peanuts, and they make huge profit from it."

Bloomberg via Getty Images

Mantashe also touched on how the department was worried about the number of fatalities in the industry. This follows the death of a mineworker at Sibanye's Rustenburg mine last week, bringing the death toll to five this year.