EXPLORATION, local minerals beneficiation, and domestic and regional gas development are some of the key areas where the South African government is driving legislation to attract investors, South African President, Cyril Ramaphosa, said on Tuesday.
“To increase the contribution of mining and energy to the economy, we have taken steps to resolve policy and regulatory issues that investors have raised with us as constraints to greater investment,” he said.
He was delivering the keynote address to the Investing in African Mining Indaba. Mining Indaba, which is in its 27th year, is being presented digitally because of Covid-19. According to the organisers, about 6,000 people had pre-registered for the event.
Ramaphosa acknowledged the importance of the industry, which contributes about 8% of South Africa’s GDP, and the fact that it had recovered quickly from the Level 4 Covid-19 lockdown in April to post a 288% surge in quarter-on-quarter growth in the third quarter.
“The industry’s ability to weather the pandemic was the result of the positive relationship between government and mining industry. We should build on this, adapt to Covid-19, provide greater policy certainty, attract more investment and protect livelihoods,” he said.
Apart from exploration, beneficiation and gas, Ramaphosa said the government was also working on legislation to formalize small-scale and artisanal mining, revitalize sterile mines and promote the discovery of new minerals, especially those critical for the future.
He acknowledged the importance of reliable and affordable energy as “… the lifeblood of mining”, and said the government’s implementation of the Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) would broaden the energy mix, enable energy generation for own use and reform and strengthen the capacity of state-owned power utility Eskom.
“We want both government and the private sector to work with us to provide energy for all sectors, while providing jobs and opportunities,” he said.