In January, South Africa’s department of mineral resources & energy (DMRE) finally unveiled its preferred technology provider for a new minerals cadastre. The cadastre, a comprehensive real estate map that is intended to streamline the department’s beleaguered mineral licensing regime, is at least three years late.

Only the DMRE, headed by minister Gwede Mantashe, knows why it has taken so long to deliberate over so important a matter. He tends to blame others, such as the State IT Agency, which he claimed last year took too long to audit his department’s chosen technology. Surely now there can be no excuses?..

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