The mining sector grew by 2.3 percent in 2012 representing the creation of 11 754 jobs, says Mineral Resources Minister Susan Shabangu.
In a written reply to Parliamentary questions from the National Council of Provinces on Monday, Ms Shabangu said that her department had estimated that the sector would generate about 14 000 jobs over the next 10 years in line with government’s economic policy, the New Growth Path.
"However, the global challenging economic situation has had a negative impact on job creation," she said.
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In her reply, Ms Shabangu said the number of operating mines and quarries increased from 993 in 2004 to 1579 in 2012 - an increase of 59.01 percent.
A total of 64 302 jobs were created during the same period, averaging 9186 jobs per year.
Ms Shabangu said the current social and labour plan was emphatic on investment in community development close to the mines, while the mining charter sets targets for human resources development, off-setting mechanisms for beneficiation, procurement and enterprise development.
She said all of those were contributors to creating entrepreneurial ad employment opportunities.
In her reply to another question concerning acid mine water drainage, Ms Shabangu said the amendments to the Minerals and Petroleum Resources Development Act would introduce appropriate sanctions of up to 10 percent of a company’s revenue in the event of gross negligence resulting in noncompliance including acid mine water drainage.