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WARNING LIGHTS

By: Darlene Creamer     27th April 2018 Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene has revealed that government is monitoring South Africa’s State-owned companies on the basis of a dashboard that shows red, amber and green lights. While he did not disclose which entities are flashing red, it’s fairly safe to say that Eskom, South African Airways,... 

WARNING LIGHTS

CRISIS NOT?

By: Martin Creamer     20th April 2018 Mineral Resources Minister Gwede Mantashe last week described the mining industry as one that is in self-doubt, believing that it is about to die, with suspicion and mistrust at a high level. "I fail to understand why platinum is in a crisis," he said, adding that mining stakeholders needed to... 

CRISIS NOT?

NEW ENERGY

By: Darlene Creamer     20th April 2018 Much credit must go to Energy Minister Jeff Radebe and Independent Power Producer Office head Karen Breytenbach for ensuring that the agreements for 27 long-delayed renewable-energy projects were eventually signed earlier this month. They pushed ahead despite fresh sniping from those who believe,... 

NEW ENERGY

DEATH AND DESTRUCTION:

By: Martin Creamer     13th April 2018 On the evening of Monday, April 2, a bus transporting 50 mineworkers from the Ga-Maroga village, in Mpumalanga, to the Modikwa Platinum Mine, 15 km northwest of Burgersfort, was set alight, killing six and injuring 44.  One of five suspects arrested appeared in the Mecklenburg Magistrate's Court... 

DEATH AND DESTRUCTION:

DISMAL OUTLOOK

By: Darlene Creamer     13th April 2018 South African Airways (SAA) has confirmed that it is now only likely to break even in its 2021 financial year, having reported a loss of R5.6-billion for 2017, and with a similar loss on the way for 2018. SAA is burning through cash despite the announcement of yet another turnaround strategy.... 

DISMAL OUTLOOK

CHARTER CHATTER:

By: Martin Creamer     6th April 2018 At top corporate level, African Rainbow Minerals executive chairperson Patrice Motsepe expressed absolute confidence that the issues surrounding the Mining Charter III debacle would be nullified and that the new charter would ensure South Africa’s return to being a competitive mining investment... 

CHARTER CHATTER:

DANGEROUS & DAMAGING

By: Darlene Creamer     6th April 2018 When the dust eventually settles on Donald Trump’s Presidency, Americans, and the rest of the world, will be left to survey the damage. Prospects for multilateralism and international cooperation will have been seriously weakened. Together with his bellicose rhetoric on North Korea and Iran,... 

DANGEROUS & DAMAGING

POOF GOES SOUTH AFRICA DISCOUNT:

By: Martin Creamer     30th March 2018 The South Africa discount that the shareholders in local mining companies have had to endure for decades, is going up in a puff of smoke. Goldman Sachs analysts say in a multi-page report that the risks around South African operations are dissipating against the backdrop of the winds of political... 

POOF GOES SOUTH AFRICA DISCOUNT:

LEAKING FUNDS

By: Darlene Creamer     30th March 2018 The financial collapse of the Department of Water and Sanitation, together with reports of operational dysfunction, is almost as worrying as the state of the country’s water security in certain provinces. Fortunately, Parliament appears determined to get to the bottom of the problems with a joint... 

LEAKING FUNDS

'I'LL DESTROY THIS AND IN THREE MONTHS REBUILD IT':

By: Martin Creamer     23rd March 2018 New Mineral Resources Minister Gwede Mantashe, who many recall playing a major role in the creation of the first widely accepted mining charter, has been advised not to be over hasty in creating a replacement charter for Mining Charter 111, which he has vowed to replace with a new charter in... 

'I'LL DESTROY THIS AND IN THREE MONTHS REBUILD IT':

FIRED IN ANGER

By: Darlene Creamer     23rd March 2018 In the face of stiff opposition and strong arguments again, US President Donald Trump has pushed ahead with new trade protection measures for steel and aluminium. He has even gone so far as describing trade wars as good. The evidence, however, points to the fact than many countries, including the... 

FIRED IN ANGER

WHEN 'NUM' TURNS INTO DUMB:

By: Martin Creamer     16th March 2018 Just when the world economy was showing signs of positive stability, up popped Donald Trump with import tariffs on aluminium and steel. Given that the North Americans refuse to keep the second 'i' in aluminium, and insist on alumi'num', one is in good company in describing the entire thing as... 

WHEN 'NUM' TURNS INTO DUMB:

ALARM BELLS

By: Darlene Creamer     16th March 2018 Warning lights should be flashing across South Africa in light of recent comments made by Economic Freedom Fighter (EFF) commander in chief Julius Malema. Given Malema’s partiality for the outrageous, many are simply dismissing the “cutting the throat of whiteness” rhetoric as mere political... 

ALARM BELLS

THE STRONG HAND OF THE RAND:

By: Martin Creamer     9th March 2018 Commodity prices in rands are, in the main, no dripping roast. Particularly when it comes to deep-level mining, the local currency is presenting challenges. Mining Weekly reports in this edition of mining companies with deep assets going this way and that way to get rid of unprofitable outcomes.... 

THE STRONG HAND OF THE RAND:

ART OF THE POSSIBLE

By: Darlene Creamer     9th March 2018 There are mixed feelings across society about President Cyril Ramaphosa’s Cabinet appointments. His economic ‘dream team’ has been tainted by some nightmarish compromises. The appointments serve to highlight that politics is, and most probably always will be, nothing more than the art of the... 

ART OF THE POSSIBLE

HOLDING BACK THE WRECKING BALL:

By: Martin Creamer     2nd March 2018 Spirits are sky high following the strong hand new President Cyril Ramaphosa is playing to prevent the Mining Charter III wrecking ball from destroying the mining industry. True to his negotiation style, government, labour and business are back at the negotiating table. The hope now is that the... 

HOLDING BACK THE WRECKING BALL:

WANNA TURN IT AROUND

By: Darlene Creamer     2nd March 2018 It certainly won’t last forever, but there is definitely a new mood of cooperation and optimism in the air since Cyril Ramaphosa because the fifth president of South Africa’s democratic era. His decision to align his nascent presidency with that of the country’s greatest statesman, Nelson... 

WANNA TURN IT AROUND

TRASHING THE CHARTER:

By: Martin Creamer     23rd February 2018 The prolonged uncertainty created by the introduction of Mining Charter III has left South Africa's mining industry in limbo, CDH mining law head Allan Reid stated in a recent article, in which he added that an unintended consequence of Mining Charter III is its role in solidifying what... 

TRASHING THE CHARTER:

NAIL THE LANDING

By: Darlene Creamer     23rd February 2018 The first part of the Olympian task needed to restore South Africa’s position as a high-potential investment destination is complete. It took time, but the toxic Jacob Zuma presidency has ended. The focus has to shift now to placing the country on to a growth path that is robust enough to begin... 

NAIL THE LANDING

CLEAN AIR REVOLUTION

By: Martin Creamer     16th February 2018 China's clean air revolution is poised to stand South Africa in good stead. When China chooses, scale results, and scale is just what fuel cells need to lower costs. Fuel cell electric vehicles use compressed hydrogen gas that, when combined with oxygen and drawn through an electrolyte, creates... 

CLEAN AIR REVOLUTION

BRIDGE TO FAR

By: Darlene Creamer     16th February 2018 Many South Africans expressed resigned exasperation at the announcement that the Public Investment Corporation would extend a R5-billion short-term loan as part of a larger R20-billion in emergency funding required to take the cash-strapped utility to its year-end. Sadly, this is but the end of... 

BRIDGE TO FAR

THE LONG WAIT IS OVER:

By: Martin Creamer     9th February 2018 The long wait is over. De Beers Consolidated Mines (DBCM) have at last been awarded prospecting licences to conduct modern diamond exploration. At the time of going to press, the first 16 of 54 applications had been received by a delighted DBCM CEO Phillip Barton. All 16 target highly prospective... 

THE LONG WAIT IS OVER:

PULLING TOGETHER

By: Darlene Creamer     9th February 2018 If only the real and digital ink spilled over who is to blame for Cape Town’s water crisis was rain, because then Cape Town’s impending ‘Day Zero’ apocalypse would surely be averted. What’s required now, however, is not scapegoating or recriminations. Instead, citizens of the Mother City are in... 

PULLING TOGETHER

WINDS OF CHANGE:

By: Martin Creamer     2nd February 2018 The countenances of South Africans are turning towards the winds of change that they see building up positively, and hope is beginning to show in their expressions as changes are made at the embattled electricity utility Eskom and long-awaited enforcement is implemented against blatant... 

WINDS OF CHANGE:

CLEAN HOUSE

By: Darlene Creamer     2nd February 2018 The nation breathed a collective sigh of relief on Saturday January 20 when a new board, lead by Jabu Mabuza, was appointed at cash-strapped power utility Eskom. Expectations are high that the board, together with acting CEO Phakamani Hadebe, will do what is necessary to clean house. It is... 

CLEAN HOUSE

THE NEW DEAL:

By: Martin Creamer     26th January 2018 THE NEW DEAL: South Africa’s New Deal under new African National Congress president and South African Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa is founded on an unrelenting commitment to the implementation of policies that restore investor confidence. Ramaphosa has called on South Africans to put an... 

THE NEW DEAL:

WATER WORRIES

By: Darlene Creamer     26th January 2018 The terrifying alert to Hawaii residents warning them about an inbound ballistic missile was, thankfully, a false alarm. However, the warning about ‘day zero’ in Cape Town is all too real. While there is unsurprisingly much unhappiness about a proposed drought levy to delink city revenues from... 

WATER WORRIES

KNOT AGAIN

By: Martin Creamer     19th January 2018 Investment-starved but well-endowed South African mining can be healed by the introduction of good new government policy. Local mining’s failure to keep pace with mining jurisdictions elsewhere relates to pernicious policy rather than palpable potential. As the Chamber of Mines of South Africa... 

KNOT AGAIN

COMING WAVE

By: Darlene Creamer     19th January 2018 South Africans breathed a collective sigh of relief last month when the National Energy Regulator of South Africa limited Eskom’s 2018/19 tariff increase to 5.23% – the utility was seeking 19.9%. However, given the electricity producer’s perilous financial state (and the likely resistance of... 

COMING WAVE

CHANGE OR SHRINK:

By: Martin Creamer     15th December 2017 If it does not remove its damaging policy framework, the South African mining industry stands to lose another 100 000 jobs. That is the view of Anglo American CEO Mark Cutifani, who accurately predicted the 100 000 job loss suffered over the last six years. “I'll say it again, absent of change,... 

CHANGE OR SHRINK:

HAD A GREAT FALL

By: Darlene Creamer     15th December 2017 The reputations of the South African government and the governing African National Congress took serious knocks during 2017. Allegations, and hard evidence, of State capture flowed stronger than the Orange river in flood, while the national mood was further depressed by downgrades, job losses,... 

HAD A GREAT FALL

ABERRANT LEGISLATION

By: Martin Creamer     8th December 2017 The long process of reconsidering the aberrant Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act (MPRDA) Amendment Bill has reportedly generated so many additional procedural missteps that turfing it into the bin is only one good thing left to do with it. According to Herbert Smith Freehills Africa... 

ABERRANT LEGISLATION

SMOKING GUN

By: Darlene Creamer     8th December 2017 Against all odds, the Portfolio Committee on Public Enterprises has done a remarkable job in peeling back the layers of State Capture at the country’s power utility. However, former Eskom chairperson Zola Tsotsi arguably provided the ‘smoking gun’, with testimony linking President Jacob Zuma... 

SMOKING GUN

LEGISLATIVE PLAYGROUND:

By: Martin Creamer     1st December 2017 In September, Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane told a mining conference in Australia that the changes to the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act (MPRDA) would be made in December. But a senior Parliamentary official has since made it clear that Parliament will miss Zwane’s... 

LEGISLATIVE PLAYGROUND:

BIG DECISION

By: Darlene Creamer     1st December 2017 The National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) is hoping to make its determination on Eskom’s revenue application for 2018/19 on December 7. It’s a big decision not only in light of Eskom’s liquidity problems, but also given the potential negative economic employment impacts of a further... 

BIG DECISION

CRY THE BELOVED COUNTRY:

By: Martin Creamer     24th November 2017 In today’s litigious South Africa, the Ministry of Mineral Resources and its Department of Mineral Resources (DMR) are coming in for legal stick over big picture legal issues. But this might not be the end of the legal story. The DMR’s irrational refused to grant prospecting licences could also... 

CRY THE BELOVED COUNTRY:

WRECKING CONTINUES

By: Darlene Creamer     24th November 2017 President Jacob Zuma’s move to foist an unworkable, and unfunded, higher education funding plan on the National Treasury is yet one more sign that he is willing to drive a bus through any institution standing in the way of his toxic political project, which combines power with patronage and... 

WRECKING CONTINUES

CAUGHT IN COURT:

By: Martin Creamer     17th November 2017 The errant Department of Mineral Resources (DMR) and the litigious Chamber of Mines of South Africa spent a day or two in the High Court in mid-2016. The both spent another two days in the High Court on Thursday and Friday of last week. They are due to spend another two days in the High Court on... 

CAUGHT IN COURT:
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