Mineral Resources Minister Ngoako Ramatlhodi said on Friday, during a visit to the Electra Mining Africa Exhibition, that he had met with President Jacob Zuma concerning the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act Amendment Bill and was “certain that the President will make an announcement on it in the next few weeks”.
During an exclusive interview with Mining Weekly Online at the exhibition, the Minister further said the six-week think tank exercise, or ‘lab’ work, on potential oil and gas legislation had been completed and had resulted in government looking at drafting legislation that regulates oil and gas separately to the law that currently regulates minerals.
“We are certainly looking at decoupling the two.”
When asked about the importance of foreign investment into South Africa’s mining industry, he said that, without investment, minerals would not be extracted.
“Historically, the mining industry has been the engine for the South African economy and we are hoping we can restore the industry to its former glory, which will also mean the revival of our economy. We are encouraging investors to invest in our country, as we have some of the largest global deposits of certain metals and minerals, including platinum-group metals and chrome.”
Mining exhibitions such as Electra Mining Africa were important for the mining sector in terms of exposing local technology to the world and to expose the country to technologies from elsewhere. This technology exchange would enable the country to move toward more efficient ways of extracting its mineral wealth.
Such events simultaneously promoted tourism, to the benefit of the country.
During a walk through the exhibition, which was held at Nasrec, in Johannesburg, Ramatlhodi visited the stands of local mining equipment provider Becker Mining South Africa; industrial gases, welding and safety products group African Oxygen; and electric motors and drives supplier Zest WEG Group.
He was also presented with work apparel by the Dickies work wear brand.