Mining sector urged to be inclusive

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.

Source: South African Government News Agency