SA mining production ‘can recover’

7 February 2012

Lowered mining output in South Africa can be turned around through investment and employment, Minister in the Presidency Trevor Manuel told the Mining Indaba in Cape Town on Monday.

“To reverse this trend [of lower mining output], we have to plan to boost investment and employment in mining by taking account of five key critical issues,” Manuel said.

These were policy and regulation, appropriate taxes, boosted infrastructure, government-corporate partnerships, and lowered carbon emissions.

“We have to look again to the mineral sector to be a major part of the plan to generate the resources to build the capability,” he said.

“We need to re-establish South Africa as the centre of excellence in mining technology.”

Manuel said the mining sector would play a big part in rebuilding the economy after the recession.

“The view of the [National Planning] Commission is to ask the question repeatedly, how we can eliminate poverty and reduce inequality?”

He said the sector needed to shed the image that it was uncaring and instead focus on the rights of workers.

The sector had an obligation to uplift the communities in which it mined, through schools, churches and other educational programs.

Companies would see a huge return on this investment with a selection of skilled workers to choose from and a happy workforce, Manuel said.

Sapa