According to SAnews.gov.za 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.