Nico Pienaar, director of Aspasa.
Surface mining industry association Aspasa has thrown its full weight behind the Minerals Council South Africa’s call for visible leadership in the eradication of corruption.
Representing mainly smaller surface mines, the association accounts for a large portion of the overall number of mines in the country and has a large and well established member-base. It is an active participant in council matters, as well as actively engages all levels of Government and labour bodies.
Aspasa director, Nico Pienaar, says the industry and the economy in general are being hamstrung by corruption and illegal mining that threatens the existence of the formal mining industry. Smaller miners feel the brunt of such corruption more quickly as they have limited resources and are often less resilient than larger mines.
“The Minerals Council said it supports President Ramaphosa’s zero tolerance approach and called for the President and the law enforcement authorities to act urgently against those within his government, and those businesses and other citizens who have looted public funds, including funds intended to ease the impact of COVID-19.
“We stand in solidarity with this initiative and call upon our members, as well as the larger mining community to stand together and report even insignificant seeming corruption by officials, as well as business, and to discuss suspicions of corruption with industry bodies for further investigation. Even contractors can do their part by only dealing with legal mines, and the same applies to buyers who should always check they are dealing with licenced producers.
“Corrupt practices breed larger scale corruption and needs to be stopped at its roots in order to reinforce morality in the industry. It is going to take a collective effort and we need to stand behind initiatives like this with all our might in order to save the industry, spare jobs and rescue the economy. Aspasa wishes all its members and the industry to know that it has zero tolerance for corruption and will stand behind members who are victims of corruption as well as prosecute any who are corrupt,” says Pienaar.