The Chamber of Mines of South Africa is a prominent industry employers' organisation which exists to serve its members and promote their interests in the South African mining industry. It does this through a variety of activities and programmes undertaken in areas where it is deemed desirable for members to consult with one another on matters of common concern or to co-operate in specific industry-level policy responses and joint initiatives.
With this scope defining its role, the Chamber exists as an important strategic partner to its member mines. In recent years the Chamber's role and functions have undergone substantial change in view of developments unfolding in the external environment. This redirection of the organisation has been undertaken with a view to:
Consequently, the Chamber exists today primarily to provide strategic support and advisory input to its members. It facilitates interaction among mine employers to examine policy issues and other matters of mutual concern to define desirable industry-level stances. Consultation and co-operation within the Chamber system occur on a voluntary basis and do not encroach on the managerial powers or prerogatives of individual member mines and mining groups.
A key activity is the Chamber's representation of the formalised policy position of its membership to various organs of South Africa's national and provincial governments, and to other relevant policy-making and opinion forming entities inside the country, and internationally.
The Chamber exists primarily to act on behalf of its members in matters of collective interest.The benefit to members is twofold: first, representations to government and other stakeholders carry more weight when expressed collectively through a respected representative body than by individual companies, and second, collective action frees members from the need to tie up their own resources in addressing major issues individually. These benefits are particularly important in the light of the King 2 report, which requires company directors to assess and respond to developments in the political, social, economic and environmental fields. Of particular interest here are the changes in laws, social and economic initiatives and environmental concerns.The Chamber has specialist advisers in each of these fields and well-established networks in the private and public sector. The Chamber is staffed by a group of professionals who enjoy the confidence and respect of the policymaking community and who operate in the legislative and public administration corridors of Cape Town and Pretoria.The small, but effective staff operates in areas that include mine health and safety, sustainable development, skills development, legal issues, environmental management, economics, labour relations and communications.