President Cyril Ramaphosa delivered the state of the nation address (SONA) in parliament last week and some of the points he touched upon had a direct impact on the mining industry. The Minerals Council South Africa was pleased with the address, highlighting a few points in particular.
Critical markers for the Minerals Council include the president’s commitment to fighting corruption and state capture, including the intended establishment of a special unit in the National Prosecuting Authority to deal with serious corruption.
Minerals Council South Africa also welcome his emphasis on improving the ease of doing business in South Africa – dealing with issues such as regulatory certainty, infrastructure functionality and the cost of electricity.
The council also agreed with the president regarding the challenge facing of job creation in the country. It also acknowledged that progress was made with creating more regulatory certainty for the mining sector, particularly in respect of the new Mining Charter. The council was concerned about issues that still needed to be resolved, such as recognition of continuing consequences of past transactions in respect of the renewal of mining rights.
It also agrees that state-owned enterprises must be fully self-sufficient and that a secure energy supply is critical. It welcomes the acknowledgement of the risks that are posed by the state of Eskom, and that bold decisions and actions are needed.
The council looks forward to understanding how government proposes to resolve Eskom’s debt challenges without placing irreparable pressure on South Africa’s fiscus.
“This is the most detailed and comprehensive SONA in 20 years. We commit to working together to heal divisions, improve competitiveness and grow the economy,” comments Minerals Council CEO Roger Baxter.