Ramaphosa Calls for Greater and Greener Contribution by Mining

In a keynote speech delivered on 7 February 2023 at the opening ceremony of the African Mining Indaba 2023 (#AMI2023), South African President Cyril Ramaphosa underscored the urgent need for greener and greater contribution by the mining sector in Africa.

To realize these objectives, he believes that South Africa needs to:

  1. Achieve a secure supply of electricity;
  2. Accelerate economic reforms to improve the operating environment;
  3. Tackle illegal mining and damage to infrastructure; and
  4. Improve the regulatory environment.

For South Africa, mining is a key pillar of the economy. South Africa has about 75% of the world’s platinum resources. In 2022, mining contributed ZAR 1.18 trillion to the GDP.

He is pleased to note that the mining sector is taking a leading role in the #GreenTransition. For instance, Anglo American launched the world’s largest hydrogen-powered mine haul truck, branded as NUGen Truck. As a matter of fact, Anglo America is developing an entire hydrogen ecosystem to support its mining operations.

It is no secret to anyone that South Africa is experiencing an energy crisis. As part of the National Energy Action Plan, South Africa has fast-tracked green energy projects totaling 2,800 MW in capacity over the last six months.

To improve the #BusinessClimate, the government will reform the regulatory environment. Currently, the application process is quite lengthy for mining prospection and exploitation permits. Thanks to reforms, the government has managed to cut down the backlog by nearly half compared to 18 months ago. Furthermore, the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy is in the process of procuring and commissioning a Digital Cadastral System to improve efficiency.

Mining is the lifeblood of South Africa and many African economies. It is important that we promote the sustainable development of this finite mineral resources in order to forge a brighter future.