DMRE says mining rights application backlog slashed, looks to neighbours for cadastre solution
The long overdue update was provided in a presentation on Tuesday to Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Mineral Resources and Energy.
“In March 2021, the department had a backlog of 4,467 applications on the three licensing categories – mining permits, mining rights and permit rights,” it said.
“Currently, the backlog is 2,625 – a 43.5% reduction from the previous backlog report.”
This is not like-for-like: In February 2021, the number stood at 5,326 – but for the DMRE, at least things are moving in the right direction.
More importantly, the DMRE has dropped the tender it issued to replace Samrad, which would have involved a completely unnecessary reinvention of the wheel when off-the shelf cadastral systems were available.
The Minerals Council SA – the main industry grouping – has even offered to help pay for such a system.
“Unsurprisingly, they are having to do a full do-over on the cadastral tender,” Paul Miller, director of consultancy AmaranthCX, told Business Maverick.
“It was clear that the first effort was a disaster waiting to happen . we are supposed to accept that it was pulled because of technical audit findings. Whatever the reason, a do-over was inevitable and should be welcomed.”
The department said in the presentation: “On Sita’s [State Information Technology Agency] advice, informed by their internal and external audit process outcomes”, it had requested the procurement process be halted.
That raises a few questions – but moving right along: The DMRE signalled that it is indeed aiming for an existing cadastral and said in its presentation that it is “benchmarking similar systems in countries that have successfully implemented a cadastral [system]”.
The presentation went on to say that it had done a benchmarking exercise with Namibia, and planned to do another at the end of November with Botswana.
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Director-General Jacob Mbele made a commitment in October to the parliamentary portfolio committee that a cadastre would be procured by the end of the financial year.
“After 10 years in denial, the department has accepted that a custom-designed cadastral ...