Independent Online

Sunday, May 22, 2022

Like us on FacebookFollow us on TwitterView weather by locationView market indicators

The government claims it is tackling challenges to mining sector

MINING groups have indicated they would increase investment and capital expenditure by 84 percent, including current commitments, within five years if the government resolved the structural regulatory impediments. File photo.

MINING groups have indicated they would increase investment and capital expenditure by 84 percent, including current commitments, within five years if the government resolved the structural regulatory impediments. File photo.

Published May 11, 2022

Share

MINING groups have indicated they would increase investment and capital expenditure by 84 percent, including current commitments, within five years if the government resolved the structural regulatory impediments that are affecting the industry, President Cyril Ramaphosa said yesterday.

He said at the Mining Indaba in Cape Town yesterday the government was committed to mobilising the resources and incentives for a “new wave of exploration” in South Africa that would, in particular, seek minerals that are essential for the global energy transition such as copper, nickel, cobalt and platinum.

Story continues below Advertisement

He said the country was keen to take the lead and become a global hub and exporter of green hydrogen, green ammonia, jet fuel and in green iron and steel production.

Ramaphosa said the mining industry, which employs more than 500 000 people in South Africa, had grown 11.8 percent last year, the fastest growth reported compared with South Africa’s other industries, and the sector had almost recovered to pre-Covid-19 levels.

The country had recently received about R46.5 billion of new mining and minerals beneficiation investment commitments, which were made at the fourth South Africa Annual Investment Conference, he said.

However, the industry also faced challenges, said Ramaphosa, including the big backlog of mining and exploration applications that needed to be processed, the need for the government to put in place a modern and effective cadastral system, the need to improve the reliable supply of electricity, and to fix problems with the railways and ports.

These issues were being tackled as part of the governments’ economic growth and development recovery efforts, which was “fully underway.”

He said the move by the government to allow companies to generate up to 100 megawatts of their own electricity requirements had resulted in mining companies indicating that they would invest about R64 billion to generate their power requirements, and the sector might eventually generate some 4 megawatts of its own electricity requirements.

Story continues below Advertisement

Also, on the regulatory and policy front, the unbundling of Eskom was on track and scheduled to be completed later this year.

In addition, a turnaround plan for the long delays in issuing of water use licences would be implemented. The Department of Water and Sanitation was working to implement a turnaround plan for the issuing of water use licences, something that was critical to mining operations.

“We are working towards a target of 80 percent of all applications being resolved within 90 days,” he said, whereas previously, this could take up to three years.

Story continues below Advertisement

He urged delegates at the conference to discuss third party involvement in Transnet’s heavy freight rail operations. He said the government was also beefing up security resources to deal with illegal mining, theft and damage to infrastructure.

[email protected]

BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE

Story continues below Advertisement

Related Topics:

mining

Share