By: Martin Creamer
Every Friday morning, SAfm’s AMLive’s radio anchor Xolani Gwala speaks to Martin Creamer, publishing editor of Engineering News and Mining Weekly. Reported here is this Friday’s At the Coalface podcast with transcript below. If you have problems with the podcast's audio please follow this link.
Gwala: South African-developed mineral rights technology is taking the mining world by storm.
Creamer: Mineral rights systems are very important and South Africa has developed its own. This one by Spatial Dimension of Cape Town is sweeping through the world in fact, it is in Zambia, Mozambique, Uganda, Kenya and even Greenland. But, where it is not is in South African government. This is again what Jacob Zuma saying yesterday is that we have got to return to efficiency and certainty within the market.
We have the Samrad system, which is much criticised and we could have this system, because it is developed in Cape Town. We have spurned it and have gone for our own tailor-made system. We know that it freezes and people having to go back to manually applying for their minerals and prospecting rights in parallel to trying to get onto this online system.
So, when you want investment in mining, as Jacob Zuma was saying yesterday, we have got to be serious. Zuma is saying that we are serious about it, but if you are serious you must make the access into the mineral world easy. When someone is sitting in New York, the system doesn’t freeze on them, because then they lose confidence and they go somewhere else. Here, we have this developed. I watched it this week and watched them apply for, on a big screen on a wall, for a prospecting right in Zambia.
I saw them go through the process, I saw them get the right and I saw them pay for the right, in less then ten minutes. Now, if Zambia can do that, we can do that better. I think that is what the Minister of Finance Pravin Gordhan was also saying, that we need to be serious about mining.