Policy certainty, load-shedding and illegal mining top of mind ahead of the Mining Indaba

30th January 2020

By: Simone Liedtke

Creamer Media Social Media Editor & Senior Writer


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With mining considered to be in an endless state of uncertainty in South Africa, EY Africa director and partner Khethiwe Cebekulu has named four key areas that need to be addressed by Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe at the Investing in African Mining Indaba next week.

With the Mining Indaba’s theme this year focused on optimising growth and investment in a digitised mining economy, Cebekulu said that it was “particularly important to recognise that the only route to long-term sustainability in the mining industry is to have certainty on regulatory policies and infrastructure security”.

She added that, now more than ever, local and international investors need policy clarity on how collaboration between government and the private sector can work.

The four issues Cebekulu said miners and investors would be most interested in would include the ongoing challenges facing State-owned power utility Eskom and the impact of load-shedding on the mining sector, as well as licensing, especially in relation to the increase in illegal mining.

On Eskom in particular, she said the utility’s battle to keep the lights on deeply impacted on mining production and revenue streams.

“If Eskom can’t be relied on, will mining companies then finally be allowed to create their own energy sources? We can’t wait any longer for the necessary changes in law to allow miners to do this,” she questioned, noting that finding out how Mantashe views self-generation and its impact on the sector would also be interesting.

Understanding how the government intends to tackle the issues relating to informal and illegal mining would also be of interest, Cebekulu added, noting that licence to operate has been identified as a key concern for mining operators, with the need for a clearly defined government strategy around the issue.

Additionally, the future of mining would also be a key issue to focus on during the course of the Indaba.

Cebekulu explained that by better understanding the future skills required by the mining industry, stakeholders would be able to strategically plan their workforce and sustain their competitive advantage in global markets. 

Implementation of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) in South African mines will also be of interest, with Cebekulu stating that “it is becoming increasingly clear that the future of mining is being stimulated by the 4IR, a business enabler and factor in risk management”.

Edited by Chanel de Bruyn
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor Online


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