Gwede Mantashe. Picture: GCIS
Gwede Mantashe. Picture: GCIS

Mineral resources minister Gwede Mantashe has admitted that the process of approving mineral exploration permits has become a nightmare. Backlogs number in the high hundreds (“SA’s failed online mining rights system impasse nears resolution”, June 1).

If the minister is now belatedly recognising what is happening in the real world outside ANC dreams, perhaps it will occur to him that the culprit may be the very system of custodianship over mineral rights that was so  eagerly embraced by his party.

Had mineral rights remained in the private domain, in all likelihood the market would function in allocating rights and we would now have a flourishing, expanding mining industry.

If the minister thinks the mining position now is a nightmare, wait until the EFF-ANC alliance adopts custodianship over land. The mining situation will look like a teddy bears’ picnic.

Willem Cronje
Cape Town

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