President Cyril Ramaphosa addresses the Mining Indaba
By Tshegofatso Makola
President Cyril Ramaphosa addressed the Investing in African Mining Indaba in Cape Town today. This is as the conference resumes its second day of dialogue on the state of the mining industry in South Africa and the Continent.
The ‘Investing African Mining Indaba’ has become one of the most important platforms for the discussions on the mining industry to take place with the relevant stakeholders. With the Indaba being held in Cape Town this year, it was only fitting for President Cyril Ramaphosa to address those gathered.
According to Ramaphosa, mining has formed a critical role in African economies, adding that it continues to play a pivotal role in development and industrialisation.
“The mining sector is an important contributor to job creation and retention, accounting for close to half a million direct jobs and close to a million indirect jobs”- President Cyril Ramaphosa
Ramaphosa emphasised the importance of the mining industry on the economy of South Africa, adding that the revenue from this industry enables the government to provide services to citizens.
Despite reports of mining production in South Africa last year reaching a record high of R1.18 trillion, Ramaphosa expressed that the country is far from realising the full potential of our mining industry.
When speaking on the challenges faced by the mining industry, Ramaphosa spoke on the country’s ongoing energy crisis, problems with port and rail operations, as well as illegal mining and safety concerns.
According to the President, the government is working to address these issues.
Speaking on the government’s responsibility to aid the mining industry in its growth, Ramaphosa highlighted the following things that the government ought to do:
- Achieve a secure supply of electricity
- Accelerate economic reforms to improve the operating environment
- Tackle illegal mining and damage to infrastructure
- Improve the regulatory environment
According to Ramaphosa, the mining sector has been working towards generating its own electricity to deal with the impact of the electricity crisis, adding that approximately 89 embedded power generation projects have been developed.
When addressing the area of focus around tacking illegal mining and damage to infrastructure, Ramaphosa spoke on the South African Police Service’s contribution to combatting this issue as well as the Transnet’s development of partnerships with entities to help in addressing cable theft and vandalism.
Concluding his address, Ramaphosa wished all those present well for what he described as “another successful Investing in African Mining Indaba that places mining firmly at the forefront of the continent’s growth, development and prosperity”.