During its Covid-worsened economic crisis, South Africa would have had nothing to fall back on without the massive contribution of its far-reaching mining industry.
This contribution is massive and takes in the fiscus, foreign exchange generation, a quality supply chain, communities, the green energy future, water sharing, banking, logistics, and a longer list of stakeholders than any other economic sector. Yet it is an industry that is bound down by more red tape than any other sector.
What must happen now to get this economy going again is that, all inappropriate bureaucracy must be removed, and exploration must be incentivised using the models that have been so amazingly successful in other mining jurisdictions. The backlog of 4 000-plus exploration applications must be dealt with fast and civil society incentivised to invest in exploration companies that list on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange. If nothing is done to stimulate exploration, this highest-yielding industry will start to shrink even more alarmingly, which would be a great tragedy.