Mineral energy complex on the beneficiation policy through the lens of network analysis

Hlongwane, Khensane
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This explanatory sequential thesis examined the Minerals Energy Complex (MEC) as a network of policy stakeholders in South Africa’s beneficiation policy adopted in 2011. The MEC is a set of well-developed industries and institutions that have developed around the mining, energy and financial sectors of the South African economy. The MEC, as Fine and Rustomjee (1996, p. 5) see it, evolves over time depending on the balance and distribution of power amongst stakeholders in the mineral sector. This thesis found evidence that the MEC as it exists 2014 has evolved into a policy network of participant stakeholders in the beneficiation policy. The thesis employed network analytic techniques by combining qualitative and quantitative research methodologies. The combination of the two methodologies allows a researcher to utilise findings from different data sets; thereby increasing the comprehensiveness of the study, as pointed out in the literature by Fischer (2011). As Coviello (2005) has illustrated, policy networks can be meaningfully examined with a bifocal lens that integrates both qualitative and quantitative analytic techniques relevant to understanding network structure, relationships between network participants and dynamics of these relationships. The data results derived from research methodology unpacked how the MEC as a policy network of stakeholders is constituted and operates in terms of the resources exchanges around the beneficiation policy. Since the research proposition argued that stakeholders in possession of highly valued resources in the MEC policy network are likely to exercise higher levels of influence in the implementation dynamics of the beneficiation policy, the results generated revealed a limited number of influential stakeholders in the MEC policy network. Against this background, the thesis detailed the type of influence stakeholders may exert, along with their level of interest in the implementation of the beneficiation policy.
Thesis (M.M. (Public Policy))--University of the Witwatersrand, Faculty of Commerce, Law and Management, School of Governance, 2014.
Beneficiation policy, Mineral energy complex, Policy networks, Policy network stakeholders