Mineral Resources Minister Gwede Mantashe has again urged mining companies to help develop communities in which they operate.
He says mining companies must pool resources and inject the money into community projects, instead of just halls and sports fields.
Mantashe was speaking at the Mining Investment Conference in Rustenburg in the North West.
He says, “They must pull the resources together and give that money to impact projects, make an impact to the community and don’t give people money. I’m advising now, mining companies when you give the money, that’s already cooked food, they will eat it. Take that money, send a project manager to work with them.”
A group of angry people stormed the conference on Tuesday to demand that local communities benefit from mining operations in the province.
The group also demanded to talk to Mantashe who eventually went to meet the protesters.
He asked them to arrange a proper meeting in which they could talk about their grievances.
“Wait a moment. I did not come to you; you have not invited me. I’m at a conference. If you want to talk to me, you need to invite me and I will come to your meeting the whole day, but to disrupt a conference is uncalled for.”
Last year, while addressing the Limpopo Mining Investment Conference in Polokwane, Mantashe said the mining industry is pivotal in the formation of capital and empowering black entrepreneurs.
In the video below, SABC News Reporter Lutendo Bobodi has more details: