Tuesday, 10 May 2022

Cape Town: President Cyril Ramaphosa says government understands the need to move with urgency to remove the red tape that stands in the way of the mining industry’s growth and development.

The President said this when he addressed hundreds of delegates attending the second day of the Investing in Mining Indaba at the Cape Town International Convention Centre on Tuesday.

“It is a matter of grave concern that South Africa has fallen into the bottom 10 of the Fraser Institute’s Investment Attractiveness Index rankings. We are currently standing at 75th of 84, which is our worst-ever ranking.

“This ranking underlines the fundamental reality that South Africa needs to move with greater purpose and urgency to remove the various impediments to the growth and development of the industry,” he said.

At the fourth South Africa Investment Conference earlier this year, investments valued at around R46.5 billion were pledged towards mining and mineral beneficiation.

The President said despite the great prospects for South African mining, the country is faced with significant challenges.

“We understand very clearly the need to fix the regulatory and administrative problems.

“We need to clear the backlog of mining and prospecting rights and mineral rights transfer applications, put in place a modern and efficient cadastral system, and implement an effective exploration strategy.

“We understand very clearly the need to significantly improve the functioning of our railways and ports, and the vital importance of ensuring a secure and reliable supply of affordable electricity.

“These tasks are at the forefront of our economic reconstruction and recovery efforts.”

Progress in reforms for network industries linked to mining

The President said, meanwhile, that since the last Mining Indaba, government has made significant headway in driving a programme of policy reform for the network industries that are inextricably tied to mining and its operations.

He said the programme is being coordinated through Operation Vulindlela, an initiative of the Presidency and National Treasury, working in partnership with the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy and other departments.

“An important area of progress is regulatory reform to facilitate new electricity generation by the mining and other sectors.

“Regulations have been amended to allow companies to invest in new generation capacity of up to 100 MW without needing to apply for a license.”

He said government was working to further cut red tape for the registration of projects, to accelerate environmental approvals and to strengthen the capacity of Eskom and municipalities to link such projects to the grid.

“According to the Minerals Council South Africa, around 4 000 MW or R65 billion of such electricity generation capacity investment is in the pipeline.

“South Africa’s energy landscape is being fundamentally transformed to introduce greater competition, more diverse energy sources and greater energy security into the future.” said President Ramaphosa.