Deputy Minister in the Presidency responsible for Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation, Buti Manamela, says government needs to implement the National Development Plan (NDP) effectively in order to drive radical economic transformation in the mining industry.
The Deputy Minister said this when he addressed the Barclays and Absa Mining Showcase 2017 at the Radisson Blu Hotel in, Granger Bay, on Monday.
The Investing in African Mining Conference showcase is aimed at updating international and local investors of developmental plans for South Africa as part of the events of the Mining Indaba.
“We need to implement the NDP effectively to drive radical economic transformation through a diversified mining licence regime. Most importantly, the NDP and all the other subsidiary plans that we have for our growth path will not succeed without the support of the private sector.
“We need the support and full cooperation from the mining industry stakeholders in order to steer the domestic mining sector towards a sustainable trajectory where all share in our mineral wealth.
“Everything that we do is in the interests of developing a thriving and more economically viable society. If we travel this road together, hand-in-hand, we are sure to go far and achieve our collective objectives,” he said.
The Deputy Minister said the mining industry is one of the major catalysts in economic development and has been the cornerstone of the South African economy for many decades.
He said that despite the myriad complex challenges that confront the industry, it remains of vital importance to the country’s economic growth.
In 2015, the sector directly contributed 7.7% to South Africa’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), was responsible for over 25% of South Africa’s merchandise exports (40% if one includes beneficiated materials) and attracted 15% of the country’s foreign direct investment.
Presently the industry employs 460 000 people directly, although jobs in associated industries and through the induced effects of mining provide another 900 000 jobs.
Interventions to sustain the mining industry
The Deputy Minister said the sustainability of the industry was under threat as a result of a combination of inadequate investment in innovation and technology by both the public and private sectors.
He also said that a perceived uncertain and or contradictory policy and regulatory environment as well as unstable relationships between many mines and their workforce and surrounding communities was also another factor that affected the industry.
“The industry is facing further challenges in that a significant portion of South Africa’s mineral resources are not commercially minable using existing mining systems and associated technologies and easily accessible resources are reaching depletion.
“The NDP offers a long-term perspective. It defines a desired destination and identifies the role different sectors of society need to play in reaching that goal.
“The Plan aims to ensure that all South Africans attain a decent standard of living through the elimination of poverty and reduction of inequality,” he said.
The Deputy Minister said government was making a concerted effort to diversify the industry through its progressive regulatory environment.
In 2010, the Minister of Mineral Resources adopted the “Strategy for Sustainable Growth and Meaningful Transformation of South Africa’s Mining Industry”.
This was followed by the adoption of the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Amendment Bill 15 of 2013 (MPRDA), which was aimed at improving the ease of doing business in the industry.
“These developments will further enhance the industry to continue creating a conducive environment for investment, growth and job creation.
“We are trying to create a regulatory environment that takes cognisance of both the business needs as well as the national development imperatives,” he said.
Craig Brewer, the Managing Principal for Banking at Barclays Africa, said the showcase, which runs over two days, is a great opportunity for individual corporates to privately interact with existing and new investors.
Reacting to the Deputy Minister’s remarks on economic transformation in an interview, Brewer said the country cannot continue with the status quo and that there is a need to address inequalities by creating more jobs for those that are at the bottom of the pyramid.
Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane has encouraged the mining industry to remain committed to the principle of shared prosperity and responsible investment.
“We ask the investment community to seize the opportunity to partner with black people, communities and workers meaningfully in their operations,” Minister Zwane said.
Speaking on Monday during the 2017 Annual Investing in Africa Mining Indaba, he said the sector contributes about eight percent directly to South Africa’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and just under 460 000 direct jobs.
“With an estimated 2.5 to 3 trillion US Dollars in non-energy mineral reserves still in-situ, we are looking forward to another 150 years of mining in South Africa.
“As we move mining forward, let us take everyone along, and ensure that indeed the mineral wealth beneath our soil benefit all South Africans,” Minister Zwane said.
The Minister invited investors and mining companies, to look at beneficiation as an opportunity for partnership and a mechanism to ensure a stable and growing demand for mineral resources.
He said beneficiation remained a priority in South Africa and government has developed a programme for Special Economic Zones, with an array of tax and investment incentives as well as bulk infrastructure to support the growth of mineral beneficiators.
“An example of this is the Musina Metallurgical Complex, in the Limpopo Province. We also have world-class institutions including Mintek, an entity reporting to the Department, that stand ready to partner with business in the development and adoption of competitive technologies and processing for beneficiation.
“We welcome the positive manner in which investors have responded to this national imperative, and will continue work to strengthen enablers for beneficiation, including the security of supply of energy,” Minister Zwane said.
He said this year the focus will be on the Promotion of Investment, with a special focus on junior miners.
“In our efforts to support investment in mining and beneficiation, we have a particular focus on the growth and promotion of small and medium sized enterprises. We will continue to give them the support to enable them to thrive,” Minister Zwane said.
He said government remains committed to enhancing the ease of doing business, and thus retaining the country’s reputation as a preferred investment destination.
“We have moved to improve regulatory efficiency through the integration of the applications for mining and related rights, water use and environmental permits,” Minister Zwane said.
The Department of Mineral Resources has also established an Investment One Stop Shop, overseen by the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Investment.
“The One Stop Shop works to improve regulatory efficiency by providing multiple services from a single point, providing advice and addressing any blockages identified for those interested in conducting business in our country.
“We have also established an integrated plan for economic growth and development, the Nine Point Plan which looks at cross-cutting issues such as infrastructure development, research, development and innovation as well as sectoral plans including mining and mineral beneficiation,” Minister Zwane said.
Courtesy of SAnews.gov.za