Mantashe engages captains of industry at Joburg Indaba

Thursday, October 3, 2019

Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe has assured stakeholders in the mining industry that his department remains ready to engage constructively in order to take the economy forward.

“We assure you that as part of our commitment to being a responsive department, our doors are always open for constructive inputs that can take the industry, and indeed the economy, forward,” Mantashe said on Thursday.

Speaking at the 2019 Joburg Indaba in Sandton, Mantashe said despite a negative first quarter growth where the economy contracted by 3.2%, the mining industry became the strongest performer in the second quarter, having grown by 14.4% -- driven by iron ore, manganese and coal. The economy experienced overall growth of 3.1%.

“Load shedding, electricity pricing and a five-month protracted strike in the gold sector accounted for the first quarter decline.

“It is for this reason that government has started engagements with coal producers and Independent Power Producers to discuss the state of the economy and the role of electricity in contributing to economic growth,” Mantashe said.

Mantashe said reliable and secure supply of energy for the growth of the mining sector remains imperative.

“Government and industry must actively work together in finding and implementing proposals for the betterment of the economy and the creation of the much-needed jobs.

“The mining and energy industry remain the bedrock of the South African economy. It is in our mutual interest that these sectors are provided with the necessary support to ensure they contribute positively to our country’s growth and development aspirations.”

Mantashe said he is convinced that mining in South Africa remains an attractive mining investment destination.

“In 2018 alone, South Africa’s mining sector received over US $3.2 billion in investments, which created an estimated 5 000 jobs. We must continue to prospect and explore the world-class mineral deposits we have,” the Minister said.

Anglo American Chief Executive Mark Cutifani, who was inducted into the SA Mining Hall of Fame this week, said SA’s economic trajectory remains unsustainable.

“We need to implement reforms urgently to create a better life for all and there’s no better place to start that than with the mining industry by creating a new paradigm that shifts us from merely sharing value to helping create enduring value for all.

“Modern mining is the opportunity for SA to regain its competitive edge. The future of mining will be fundamentally different if we are going to be genuinely sustainable and SA has a leading role to play in the change that will take place globally,” said Cutifani.

The Joburg Indaba SA Mining Hall of Fame was launched in 2016 as a way of recognising and honouring some of the legendary individuals who have significantly influenced the South African mining industry over many years.

The 2019 Joburg Indaba seeks to create an influential platform to stimulate robust debate among all industry stakeholders.

The Indaba is addressing key issues around the current economic and regulatory environment including what must be done to invigorate the industry, encourage growth and employment by winning back investor trust and boosting foreign direct investment. – SAnews.gov.za

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