President Cyril RamaphosaSouth Africa’s recognition of being ranked seventy-fifth among global mining jurisdictions in the latest Fraser Institute survey means that the South African government must respond urgently and decisively to remove barriers to growth and development. development of the mining industry, said the Minerals Council South Africa mentioned.
Speaking at the Investing in African Mining Indaba, held in Cape Town on May 10, Ramaphosa noted the successes that could be achieved if the public and private sectors worked together, with the Minerals Council noting the president’s pledges to remove barriers that block the growth of the mining industry. industry and to support this essential sector of the economy.
The council said in a press release that Ramaphosa’s speech did not shy away from the difficulties the mining industry faces when considering investments to support and develop mines, or to explore for new mineral deposits.
“Mining companies are in a difficult operating environment, with high levels of crime, costly and erratic electricity supply and logistical bottlenecks on rail and at ports that cost companies and the tax authorities billions of rands. “, he noted.
Minerals Council CEO Roger Baxter described Ramaphosa’s speech as a constructive and realistic speech, highlighting the contribution of the mining industry to the country.
“We have a high degree of resonance between the government and the Minerals Council on what will shape the industry for sustainable and inclusive growth in the future. President Ramaphosa’s commitment to reducing legal and regulatory burdens is critical,” he said.
Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy Gwede Mantashemeanwhile, said the department would meet with the Minerals Council to discuss concerns raised by the investigation and work collaboratively to improve the perception of South Africa as a destination for exploration and mining.
The Minerals Council said Ramaphosa’s comments were a welcome acknowledgment of the role the South African mining industry has played in stabilizing South Africa’s tax and economy in 2021.
Regarding the preparation of its workforce to deal with the implications of Covid-19 in the future, the council pointed out that the mining industry had vaccinated three quarters of its 458,000 employees, which in makes it the “first economic sector to protect its workforce”.
Baxter added that the board would continue discussions on improving energy security and returning the state-owned Freight Rail division of Transnet to a position in which it could deliver the contracted tonnages and, at the end of the account, reach the installed capacity.
In addition, the Minerals Council said it supports and endorses the work being done by Operation Vulindlela – an initiative of the Presidency and the National Treasury to drive structural and policy reforms to revive economic growth.
The decision to allow integrated power generation of up to 100MW without the need for a license was the “most significant structural reform in a decade”, the council reiterated.
To date, members of the Minerals Council have planned more than 4GW of energy projects worth R65 billion, a venture which the council says needs to be accelerated.
In this regard, what is needed is a significant shortening of the timeframes associated with the environmental permitting and grid connection processes, he added.
Meanwhile, Ramaphosa said that through Operation Vulindlela, the Ministry of Water and Sanitation is working to process 80% of water use license applications submitted by mining companies. within 90 days.
Baxter said this was an important development for the mining industry, for which water is a vital part of their operations, and another example of the government addressing constraints holding back investment.
However, he noted that the mining industry also needed the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy to clear the backlog of over 4,000 mining and exploration permits which was holding back further investment in mining. exploration and mining.