The department of trade and industry said it would lead a delegation of 40 South African mining companies to the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

JOHANNESBURG -  The department of trade and industry (dti) said on Tuesday it would lead a delegation of 40 South African mining companies to the Democratic Republic of the Congo to participate in that country's Mining Week event in Lubumbashi.

The event is the DRC's largest mining and industrial platform, bringing together over 3,000 delegates from more than 50 countries to explore and showcase the vast investment opportunities in the sector.

The dti has been promoting the global competitiveness of exports through the expansion of markets for South African goods and services, trade and industry minister Ebrahim Patel said in a statement.

“The DRC (is) a strategic partner on the continent and we believe that participation in the DRC Mining Week provides us with an ideal platform to expose our local businesspeople in the mining and allied industries to opportunities in the DRC especially within infrastructure which presents opportunities for collaboration and partnerships," he said.

Patel said South Africa was committed to the implementation of the Southern African Development Community's (SADC) industrialisation strategy and roadmap and increasing partnerships with the DRC in advancing the fourth industrial revolution.

“We will strengthen existing economic and political relations between South Africa and other African countries and support partnerships and joint ventures between companies,” he said.

South African companies participating at DRC Mining Week are funded by the dti through its export marketing and investment assistance scheme, one of whose objectives is to develop export markets for local products and services.

More than 1,000 companies benefited from the scheme in the last financial year.

Two North-West mining companies have set their eyes on new mining projects in the DRC.

Due to challenges facing the industry in South Africa, Potchefstroom-based WJ Conveyances has found it necessary to broaden its footprint in the international arena, managing director Bert Werkman said.

"The future of mining in the DRC looks very promising and we would like to capitalise on the new projects in that country. We are also hoping to meet with key decision makers and expand our market share in the DRC as we already have a presence in Lubumbashi,” Werkman said in a statement via the dti.

The family owned business which employs 73 people has exported products to Botswana, Ghana, Namibia, Tanzania and Zambia, Brazil, Mongolia, Canada, Philippines and Sweden.

Rustenburg-based Prelec also hopes to increase its revenue through its participation at the forum, managing director Reuben Matlapeng said.

"We are very honoured to be part of the large companies that contribute to the South African and DRC econom(ies) through these international mining platforms. Our services will be exposed to the export market," he said.

- African News Agency (ANA)