Department of Mineral Resources
IT’S questionable whether David Msiza will appear as a speaker at another mining conference again after being made to answer for his entire department at the Jo’burg Indaba in September. He made a brave attempt at responding to a delegate survey that most thought the Department of Mineral Resources (DMR) could not conduct fair business. Tough one. Answers are sought, however, in respect of whether Msiza’s inspectorate could exercise better judgement. Take the perplexing decision by one of Msiza’s charges in December to shut all platinum operations in Rustenburg before reversing the decision a day later. There had been four fatal accidents in a week, but why the trigger-happy response in a sector on its knees? At heart is a dilemma: the 9% year-on-year improvement in mining fatalities in 2014 is partly down to Msiza’s work, but safety stoppages also cost the industry R13.6bn in lost revenue since 2012. “When you challenge a stoppage ... you get bullied. All CEOs are s**t scared about speaking up,” one source told BDLive in 2015. An affidavit prepared by attorney Hulme Scholes said that Section 54 notices were used to ‘victimise’ mining companies that speak out against the DMR. Msiza’s denies the victimisation. “They are ... a corrective measure to protect the lives of mineworkers,” he said.
LIFE OF DAVID
He holds a BSc in Mining Engineering from the University of the Witwatersrand. He joined the Department of Minerals and Energy in 1998 as an inspector responsible for conducting safety audits and inspections. He has been chief inspector of mines since 2011.
- Web Address: www.dmr.gov.za