Delivering his address at the virtual Mining Indaba earlier this year, President Cyril Ramaphosa praised the local mining sector – which has suffered largely due to the pandemic – for its flexibility and resilience during the most difficult time for the country’s economy. Like all businesses and sectors all around the world operating in mining, energy and other related commercial activities, have seen interruptions and a change in profitability as a result of CoVID-19.
In March 2021, Brand South Africa partnered with the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition, Minerals Council South Africa and Investec Bank Limited, to engage on opportunities and methods that can be implemented to rebuild the mining sector amid the global pandemic. Even with the interference and chaos caused by the pandemic, the country’s mining sector has illustrated its remarkable agility and ability to recover, taking the necessary steps to thrive and continue to position South Africa as an important industrial player in the global economy.
According to Mr Yunus Hoosen, Head at Invest SA, in a period of global difficulty the local mining sector secured twenty-one projects in the last year, amounting to R150 billion. This speaks volumes on Africa’s ability to build relations that benefit its people and its capability to strengthen value chains through positive working relations between the state and the mining industry.
Dr Petrus de Kock, General Manager: Research at Brand South Africa, stated that the strength of democratic institutions is critical to our country’s reputation and South Africa’s high ranking of budget transparency is a result of democracy and a constitution and that positions South Africa as a country which is perfect for investment.
Ms. Annabel Bishop, Chief Economist at Investec Bank Limited, said that going forward, the mining sector needs to implement reforms that would lead the way in attracting investment into the country and in communicating the rising economic growth forecast of the country to potential investors.
If anything, the pandemic has highlighted the need to rebuild the mining sector as key to the all-encompassing recovery strategy for the he economy. South Africa has the critical reserves and minerals the world requires, and for as long as there is a demand for those, there exists an opportunity to supply them. For an industry to thrive in the middle of a global crisis, there is no doubt that South Africa can be positioned as a pioneering, developmental and innovative industry.