Mining industry to benefit from NDP: Gordhan

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Johannesburg – Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan says the government is, through the National Development Plan (NDP), doing all it can to mitigate challenges that hamper growth in the mining sector.

Speaking at the second annual Mining Lekgotla, which was held at the Sandton Convention Centre on Tuesday, Gordhan said while the industry has been faced with numerous challenges in relation to labour and operational costs, several interventions were being implemented by the Government to assist the industry recover from its setbacks.

Gordhan said this was at the back of several perceptions that fuelled doubt from existing and potential investors, including, amongst others, policy uncertainty, political and currency risk and the risk of production stoppages brought about by mining unrest.

Mining bosses have, amid these challenges, been asked to commit to capital investment that runs into 30 or 40 years.

“What we can say is that as a young democracy in South Africa, there is nothing to indicate that that investment is not safe.

“We have an infrastructure plan which in the next three to six months, we will begin to see it impacting on the ground and much of that infrastructure is directed at ensuring that the mining industry in particular has the kind of infrastructure it requires to meet its demands.   

Gordhan said this at the back of an announcement by Statistics SA that the mining and quarrying industries recorded a -0.3% decline in the first quarter of 2013 as the real gross domestic product (GDP) at market prices increased by 3.0%.

Gordhan said, however, that while addressing all the negatives, South Africa needed to focus and build on its strengths.

“How will, for example, the implementation of the National Development Plan – which is clearly an important priority for South Africa – help us to lower the cost of doing business, help to ensure that many issues in respect of infrastructure… can be addressed?”

He said the efforts of the Government in terms of infrastructure investment, driven by the Presidential Infrastructure Coordinating Committee (PICC), was already starting to address infrastructure needs that would help the mining industry.

“In terms of cost of electricity, I am sure you are already familiar with the announcement from the Cabinet Lekgotla which focused on, amongst other things, electricity constraints …”

He said government had addressed policy uncertainty concerns in the past year, and added that the recent framework agreement that was recently signed by the Government, labour and mining companies would contribute to bringing about stability in the mining sector. – SANews.gov.za

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