Mineral resources minister Gwede Mantashe, who opened Africa’s largest mining conference, said South Africa is a safe venue for mining investments, and licencing corruption is being addressed.
Mantashe explained that there was a policy and legislative framework that would give investors certainty around what was expected from them and the regulatory environment in which they would operate.
The mineral resources minister said his department was addressing licencing problems at provincial level. However, his speech was devoid of any specifics and that failed to address key concerns around land expropriation without compensation or a potential electricity tariff hike that would all but destroy deep-level mining, smelting and refining in South Africa.
To extend the reassurances for mining companies and encouraging investment in South Africa, President Cyril Ramaphosa will also address delegates.
Ramaphosa will be delivering his second state of the nation address and there are expectations in the local mining sector that the future of Eskom and electricity generation will be addressed in the speech.
To address the issue of corruption, Mantashe said he was “paying attention” to regional offices in all nine provinces where there had been “a number of problems in processing licences”. Offices in Mpumalanga and Limpopo provinces have been closed for audits to root out corruption. The minister said the initiative would continue to ensure there was a clean licencing process.
At the 25th Investing in Africa Mining Indaba in Cape Town, Mantashe said “we want to reassure investors it is safe to invest in South Africa. We need responsive and ethical leadership. If we do that investors, will be reassured of South Africa as an investment destination”.
Mantashe reiterated that the petroleum aspects of the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act would be stripped out and set up in their own act.