Despite the many challenges, South Africa remains an attractive destination for investment in mining, according to Thabo Mokoena, Director General of Mineral Resources.
He said at policy level things were going in the right direction as it was clearly understood within government that the foundation of economic growth in the country was in a solid mining and energy industrial complex that would allow other sectors of the economy to thrive.
“African countries also need to unlock the potential to trade with each other,” he said.
Roger Baxter, CEO of the Minerals Council of South Africa, agreed, but indicated it was time to get practical if there was any chance of attracting the investment.
“There is no denying that at policy level it is going in the right direction, but what happens on the ground? That is where the difference will be. No one disputes the opportunities that exist in the country, but can we realise them?”
According to Nola Kianza, president and CEO of the Canadian Council on Africa, infrastructure needs to be developed to feed into Africa. “At the moment much of the infrastructure is designed to feed outside the continent. Talks of improved rail between the DRC and South Africa is therefore welcome as is the completion of the Kazungula bridge next year.”
Also, said Baxter, the continent needed “smart tape, not red tape.
“We need to have efficient systems in place. It is time for action practically, on the ground, if we want to turn this around at all.” - Liesl Venter