Mineral Resources Minister Gwede Mantashe has called for improved relations between mining companies and communities in which they operate.
"Mining companies must leave a positive legacy in areas where they operate, and positively coexist with the community, environment, and other economic sectors," said Mantashe.
The Minister's comments follow from his in-loco inspection at Mineral Sands Resources' Tormin mine outside Vredendal in the Western Cape on Friday.
Mantashe visited the mine to check its level of compliance with environmental, social and labour plans, transformation as well as health and safety imperatives.
These areas are stipulated in the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Act and the Mining Charter.
"Sustainable development is critical. Mining must be done in such a way as to ensure that future generations are not worse off," he said.
He added that the mining industry must appreciate that the world is changing.
"They must respect workers and communities, and they must ensure that they comply with the mining and environmental laws of the country," he said.