Day Two of Mining Indaba began on Tuesday, with an address by South Africa’s State President, Cyril Ramaphosa.
Addressing over 1000 delegates gathered at Cape Town’s Convention Centre, Mr Ramaphosa said “South Africa is committed to helping mining… to grow, [to be] sustainable… and provide prosperity for everyone involved.”
Acknowledging the challenges South Africa faces, the President recognised that being 75th among 84 nation listed as good places to invest was “not good enough”.
“The infrastructure of the country is in a shambles,” he said. “We must commit ourselves to improving it…the railways…the ports.” And undertook to make state funding available for these projects.
He highlighted the cooperation already happening with companies like Anglo American in promoting the use of alternative fuels on their trucks , and promised that his government would get behind transition to cleaner technologies, such as Green Hydrogen.
Striking a pragmatic note, Mr Ramaphosa accepted that such shifts created challenges for more traditional industries, such as coal but urged international finance to mobilise to help alleviate the plight of communities and companies affected by these “necessary changes”.
Mr Ramaphosa, who has personally presided over South Africa’s anti-CoViD campaign was keen to thank the mining industry for its vital assistance in the immunisation programme, and for leading the way with anti-virus protocols.
Many delegates Gapuma has spoken to believe there is a vacuum of leadership in the mining industry. And that South Africa has a crucial role to play. Mr Ramaphosa’s speech went down well, but as he approaches five years in power, his warm words have to be matched by concrete actions designed to bolster confidence after a very uncertain period.
The world’s largest zero emissions truck at Anglo American’s Magalakwena mine in Limpopo