The sun is rising for the mining industry – Ramaphosa

After years of being at loggerheads with government, the mining industry finally has its full and undivided attention – and it’s pulling out all the stops to address some of the critical challenges that have put the sector under pressure.

Speaking at the annual Investing in Africa Mining Indaba currently under way in Cape Town, President Cyril Ramaphosa committed government to ongoing engagement with the industry saying mining remained a key player of the South African economy.

“We have prioritised the restoration of the policy and regulatory framework to ensure an environment that is stable and predictable. Much work has been done to remove the uncertainty that has held back the growth of this industry,” he told delegates. “Courts have become the main platform for engagement between industry and government and that can no longer be tolerated. We do not want to meet you in court, but in your boardrooms and in our offices. This is the era for more collaboration, more cooperation and more consensus building.”

Ramaphosa said his government would put an end to claims that mining in South Africa was a dying industry due to mining houses threatening to pull out in light of the ongoing concerns over the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act (MPRDA) and exploration having come to a near standstill.

“The sun is rising for the mining industry in South Africa again,” he said. “We recognise the critical importance that mining plays in this country. We have moved to speed up the delivery of the Mining Charter and to get clarity on the MPRDA. We are meeting with industry leaders regularly to address the challenges, to reach consensus and find a collaborative approach going forward.”

Calling on companies to embrace beneficiation, provide job opportunities and invest in South Africa, Ramaphosa said he was increasingly optimistic about the future of the country.

“We set ourselves a target of raising $100 billion in five years. Within only seven months we have managed to get commitment for $20 billion - with three of the major investors being mining houses. This in itself is a clear indication that South Africa is still an attractive destination for investment.”

Ramaphosa said that by working together government and mining companies could bring about a potent “cocktail of success”.

“We are committed to the mining industry in this country and on this continent. That is why a number of ministers are here. It is a clear indication that this is a sunrise industry. See your own industry as such. Come and join us to grow it to the superlative levels where mining belongs on the African continent.”

Liesl Venter



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