Government views the mining industry as a key player in the future growth and development of South Africa’s economy.
President Ramaphosa declared this during an address at the Investing in African Mining Indaba held recently in Cape Town.
The president added that the mining sector has huge potential for exploration, production and beneficiation.
He added that significant work has been undertaken to remove policy uncertainty in the mining industry such as the finalisation of the Mining Charter and providing clarity on the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Amendment Bill.
In terms of energy supply, the president confirmed that detailed attention was being given to the operational, financial and structural challenges at Eskom.
He stressed that Eskom is “too important and too big to fail”.
“And we will not allow it to fail. Restoring and securing energy security for the country is an absolute imperative.”
A package of measures to stabilise and improve Eskom’s financial, operational and structural position and to ensure security of energy supply for the country will be announced soon.
As regards land reform, and in particular, the proposal to expropriate land without compensation, the president indicated that “our approach will enhance, rather than undermine, property rights as we seek to address what we have termed the original sin which was committed against black South Africans during colonial and apartheid days”.
The measure that government was proposing will “apply to land for the purposes of land reform only, and within a clearly defined set of circumstances”.
The president also confirmed that the land reform process will promote economic development and agricultural output and will not undermine constitutional principles or the rule of law.
In conclusion, the president called on mining companies to strive to achieve ten value creating principles to increase productivity in the sector.
Some of the principles include fostering inclusive growth in areas where they operate, partnering with local governments to improve infrastructure, enhancing workers’ living conditions, investing in education and training, embracing beneficiation and including workers in shareholding.