Electricity storage batteries are what the new world will be running on and South Africa must grasp its opportunity to make them locally. A Canadian company mining graphite in Madagascar sees South Africa as the place able to provide what vehicle manufacturers want – the middle-tier value-add portions of batteries for battery electric vehicles.
South Africa has the wherewithal to provide that because we have access to the required battery materials, including cobalt – which passes through on its way to export markets – copper and aluminium, nickel sulphate and manganese sulphate, vehicle manufacture and the necessary skills. What is more, the Canadian company has as its chairperson and investor Sir Mick Davis, who ascended to great heights from his initial South African executive base.
Demand for the value-add consolidation of battery production derisks the advance away from internal combustion engine mobility and presents a huge opportunity to set up a new local industry with a far-reaching horizon.