Social & Labour Plan – Your Mines life depends on it

by | Nov 11, 2021 | Newsletters | 0 comments

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Since 2004, Social & Labour Plans (SLP) have been a crucial requirement for the awarding of mining rights by the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE). SLP Reporting processes strictly regulate the mining industry, with mines risking heavy penalties and the potential loss of their Mining Right if they do not implement the commitments set out in the SLP.

SLP’s benefit the mining communities and the mines; any industrial installation is only as healthy as their communities. With these SLP’s in place, the DMRE ensures that local communities benefit, people living in the communities and employed by the mines are uplifted, and various infrastructure projects are provided. Through the effective implementation of well researched SLP’s, the mining sector play a key role in the development of rural communities and in so doing, limit the negative socio economic impacts so often associated with the industry.

The purposes of SLP’s:

  • Promote local economic growth and development in the communities that they are operating in.
  • Promote first and foremost local community employment and advanced social welfare for all South Africans.
  • Utilise and expand the existing skills base to empower and serve the community.
  • SLP’s also guarantees that relevant parties contribute to the socio-economic development of the areas from which most of the labour force are sourced.

The successful implementation of an SLP goes a very long way towards the success and longevity of a mining operation. Drafting an SLP requires the input of multiple stakeholders, listed below:

  • Department of Mineral Resources and Energy  (DMRE) oversees the SLP implementation procedure and enforces applicable laws around mining.
  • Local Host Communities are the primary beneficiaries of the SLP. 
  • Mining Companies are responsible for designing and implementing programmes that will benefit the development of communities and workers. 
  • Local Government and municipalities must compile an Integrated Development Plan (IDP) that serves as a guide for development in municipalities. Community Development projects adopted in the SLP must be aligned to the development priorities outlined in the IDP documents.
  • Traditional Authorities/Leaders Traditional leaders are a liaison between the community and mining companies. In particular, they deal with issues that affect communal lands.
  • Trade Unions are associations that represent mine workers and their rights. Trade unions also play a role in the development of SLP’s, with particular interest in the skills development and career development programmes at the mining company.
  • Mining Contractors are companies that employ mine workers. Workers employed by mining contractors should have the same benefits as those employed directly by the mine and as such mining contractors are key partners in the development and implementation of the commitments in an operation’s SLP.

MTS offers a range of services and tools that can assist mines with drafting, implementing and reporting on SLP’s as well as supported communication projects between the various stakeholders.

What are the consequences of a failure to implement a successful Social & Labour Plan?

Failure to fulfil the obligations laid out in your SLP can lead to legal ramifications, such as a Section 93 notification which could lead to penalties and at worst the loss of a mining if not addressed within the allocated timeframes. Furthermore, there is the resulting disappointment, anger and resistance from mining communities.  Many communities are left in despair when the Social & Labour Plan amounts only to unfulfilled promises, entrenching the trust deficit between mining companies and the people most affected by their operations.

MTS, how we can help.

MTS specialises in sustainable, real-world innovations and solutions with a 10-year proven track record in the compilation, implementation and reporting of SLP’s and associated implementation strategies. We are also well positioned to communicate approved SLP’s to the relevant stakeholders in a format that will be easy for everyone to understand and engage with- a recent example can be seen here).

Our software, Insite, is vital in the reporting process, tracking the four key components: Human Resource Development, Labour Planning, Social and Economic Development Planning and localised procurement initiatives on which the SLP’s is designed. In addition, we have demonstrable success in leadership, development of core business skills and much more. 

We strive to see healthy, uplifting relationships developed between the mining industry and its communities so that all may benefit. In this way, MTS works with helping your business thrive. Our aim, to see the advancement of the social and economic welfare of all South Africans.

For assistance with SLP compliance and all mining-related socio-economic development (SED) projects, look no further than MTS. You can contact us on or for more information visit our website on




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