Bua Briefs 8 of 2012

31 May 2012

Mining Lekgotla

The Ministry of Mineral Resources, in partnership with the National Union of Mineworkers and the Chamber of Mines South Africa, will host the Mining Lekgotla from 5 to 6 June 2012 in Midrand.

The lekgotla is described as a “strategic think tank” for industry leaders and is part of an annual conversation on different industry scenarios. The forum provides a platform to find practical and sustainable solutions to problems facing the industry by creating various scenarios for the future.

Mining industry leaders will identify and deal with issues such as risks, competitiveness, social pressures and growth opportunities. These issues are key to unlocking the industry’s potential to achieving optimal returns on investment, in a manner that will best serve the medium- and long-term interests of all South Africans.

Other areas to be discussed include options for nationalisation, acid mine drainage and beneficiation opportunities. The lekgotla is also aligned to the Mining Industry Growth Development and Employment Task Team, which includes the following key commitments:

  • promoting growth and transformation (as mutually reinforcing and inclusive concepts)
  • resolving infrastructure constraints
  • promoting innovation, productivity and cost-competitiveness (including promoting exploration)
  • committing to sustainable development in mining (improving health and safety, environmental management, etc)
  • encouraging greater beneficiation
  • improving the regulatory framework (including mining and environmental permitting)
  • promoting human-resource development
  • promoting employment equity
  • facilitating mine community development
  • improving workers’ housing and living conditions
  • facilitating greater transformation through industry procurement
  • achieving greater transformation in mining ownership and improving monitoring of transformation and competitiveness. 

The local mining industry has been under pressure with mineral production in the third quarter of 2011, which contracted by 12%. This is despite South Africa having the world’s largest mineral reserves estimated at US$2,5 trillion.

The 2011 Fraser Institute survey of the world’s major mining jurisdictions, ranked South Africa’s policy potential 67 out of 79 countries reviewed. It’s been reported that a significant cause of the industry’s decline lies in the regulatory uncertainty on the implementation of the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act (MPRDA), 2002, which came into force in 2004. The MPRDA, 2002 replaced private ownership of mineral rights with state custodianship and conditional state licences.

Key Messages Supporting Statements

Strong partnerships are key to growing the mining industry.


  • Government looks forward to a strengthened partnership with key industry role players following deliberations and commitments from the Mining Lekgotla.
  • The lekgotla presents an opportunity for business, labour and civil society to form strong partnerships with government in driving the industry forward.
  • Each partner brings unique insights, understanding and inputs to the table, which augurs well in finding practical and sustainable solutions to the challenges the sector experiences.
  • The mining industry should also maximise this opportunity to rekindle the contribution that minerals have made to building our economy, which has contributed towards eliminating the triple threat of poverty, unemployment and inequality.
  • A unified approached will ensure that South Africa remains the preferred mining destination in years to come.

South Africa’s mining industry abounds with opportunity.


  •  The perception that the local mining industry is in a “sunset mode” is untrue. While there has been a decline in gold-mining output, it is not a reflection of the entire South African mining industry.
  • South Africa has significant deposits in a range of minerals that are important for the world economy. South Africa is estimated to have the world’s largest mineral reserves approximated at US$2.5 trillion.
  • Over the past 30 years, South Africa has become a major supplier of platinum group metals, coal, iron ore, manganese, chrome and titanium minerals.
  • South Africa is being positioned to take advantage of the next wave of commodities boom through our infrastructure investments.
  • The availability of more rail, port and water infrastructure necessary for mining will raise the level of mining, resulting in job creation and economic development in various commodities, including iron and manganese ore in the Northern Cape and coal from the Witbank and Waterberg coalfields in Mpumalanga and Limpopo respectively.
  • Government is committed to working together with other state institutions on action plans to optimise the sector’s extractive capacity, attraction of investment as well as maximising mining’s job-creation potential.

Mining remains core to South Africa’s current economy.


  • In 2011, the mining industry contributed 9,6% to our country’s gross domestic product and more than 12% to total fixed capital formation.
  • The mining industry is a critical earner of foreign exchange as it makes up more than 35% of our total export revenue.
  • The sector employed 2,9% of the country’s economically active population, which currently stands at more than half a million direct jobs.
  • The sector contributes significantly to the country’s corporate tax receipts. In 2010, corporate tax receipts totalled R17 billion (13,2%) and R6 billion in royalties.
  • More than 60% of the country’s energy and 90% of electricity generation is derived from activities associated with mining.

Government is working to harmonise mining legislationand enhance regulatory certainty.



  • The promulgation of the MPRDA, 2002 in 2004 introduced a policy of equal access to South Africa’s mineral resources, ensuring that historically disadvantaged South Africans are brought into the mainstream of mining.
  • Since its introduction, some challenges were experienced in the implementation of the policy, which resulted in the need for the Department of Minerals to review the MPRDA, 2002.
  • The objectives of the review are to provide for a detailed consultation process, support the beneficiation strategy, streamline the licensing process to avoid delays and inefficiencies, provide for enhanced punitive measures, improve the current construction of the Act and remove ambiguities, and provide clarity on the mining of associated minerals.
  • The review of the Act does not seek to introduce any major policy shifts in respect of exploration and exploitation of South Africa’s mineral resources.
  • Government is committed to synergising the MPRDA, 2002 and the Mine Health and Safety Act, 1996, which are pivotal in ensuring that we create regulatory alignment.


International Africa ICT Indaba

The (Information and Communications Technology) ICT Indaba will take place at the Cape Town International Convention Centre from 4 to 7 June 2012.

Role players from across the Diaspora have been invited to South Africa to partner with the Ministry of Communications, the ICT industry, labour and civil society in a bold and innovative move that seeks to shape the development of the continent.

Government, through the Ministry of Communications, seeks to maximise the use of ICT to improve the quality of lives of South Africans and fellow Africans. The ICT sector needs to assume a more prominent role of being a primary enabler of economic growth and job creation.

Africa is on the brink of being the next boom market for the ICT industry. The African continent continues to see a massive roll-out of communications infrastructure, which provides an avenue through which many of the continent’s people can be pulled out of the yoke of poverty.

The ICT Indaba provides a unique platform in bringing together all key stakeholders to make this vision a reality. The setting up a continental agenda and policy aimed at expanding the growth of the ICT sector would be a great outcome of the indaba.

Key Messages Supporting Statements

Hosting the ICT Indaba will position South Africa as a viable ICT investment destination.  

  • The International Telecommunications Union’s endorsement gives the ICT Indaba 2012 a deserved and truly global feel.
  • South Africa’s ICT industry is the 20th-largest in the world, accounting for 0,5% of worldwide ICT revenue.
  • It is noted for its vibrancy and the high quality of its work, so we have the benefit of a very viable and competent partner.
  • Investment in ICT infrastructure, such as broadband roll-out, is a vital step to promote economic development.    

ICT holds the potential to fast-track the qualitative improvement of South Africans’ and fellow Africans’ lives across the continent.

  • A new spirit of political will is sweeping the continent and our leaders are focusing their energies on cooperating to achieve great development dividends.
  • At international level, we will continue to pursue the harmonisation of ICT policies in the Southern African Development Community and on the African continent.
  • We will continue to drive the transformation of the international regulatory system to advance the needs of developing countries, especially in Africa.
  • The rapid development of the ICT sector offers massive opportunities for economic growth across the continent.


Investment in ICT infrastructure is an important driver of economic growth and jobs.

  • Investment in physical infrastructure will be complemented by initiatives to train and up-skill ICT knowledge. 
  • The building and roll-out of ICT infrastructure will play an important role in attracting much- needed foreign direct investment (FDI).
  • This will accelerate the development of a knowledge-based economy with a strong focus on job creation in the country and across Africa.
  • Investing in ICT will produce the necessary skills required by various sectors of the economy and can be a springboard for creating decent job opportunities. 

Speedier delivery of quality services through technology.


  • Access to and the use of ICT is being rapidly extended due to the continual reduction in broadband costs.
  • Accelerating social and economic development by aligning ICT policies and strategies with the broader strategies of government.
  • Public-private partnerships remain a key strategy to drive the improvement of public access to ICT.
  • Increased affordability and access to ICT and technology can act as a catalyst in creating new and better opportunities, sustaining economic growth, improving healthcare and providing information and education.

Working Together we can secure the growth of ICT on the continent.

  • The ICT Indaba is a unique opportunity for all stakeholders to come together to map a shared vision for ICT on the continent.
  • Ours is one of the fastest-growing ICT markets worldwide and Africa is the fastest growing market for Facebook and Google.
  • By demonstrating that we understand how to use ICT effectively and build the necessary infrastructure, we will play an important role in attracting much-needed FDI.




Mid-Term review
President Jacob Zuma during The Presidency Budget vote highlighted some findings from the Mid-Term review undertaken by the Department of Performance Monitoring and Evaluation, which illustrates how far we had gone towards achieving our goals since 2009. The findings indicate progress in the key priorities, but also areas where we still need to improve. In education, the enrolment of children in the compulsory schooling age band, seven to 15 years, had reached over 98% in 2010, which is helping to lay a stronger foundation for better quality basic education. To date, about eight million learners no longer pay school fees, while eight million benefit from the school nutrition programme, as part of government’s poverty alleviation programme. In addition, we provide social grants to about 10 million children to alleviate poverty. This is considered very progressive and impressive for a developing country. We have also increased access to higher education programmes, by making funding available to children from poor households. In addition, matric results now improve each year, although we must still turn more passes into quality passes.


Square Kilometre Array (SKA) – a proud moment for South Africa
President Jacob Zuma has congratulated the Minister of Science and Technology, Ms Naledi Pandor, and her team for winning the bid to host the SKA telescope. This follows an announcement by the SKA Organisation that South Africa and Australia are to share the hosting of the most advanced scientific project in the world. In its statement, the SKA Organisation stated that the majority of SKA dishes in Phase I would be built in South Africa and combined with the MeerKAT.

Further SKA dishes will be added to the ASKAP array in Australia. All the dishes and the mid-frequency aperture arrays for Phase II of the SKA will be built in Africa, while the low-frequency aperture array antennae for Phase I and II will be built in Australia.


Nedbank invests over R15 million in integrated school programme
Nedbank has announced that it will be investing over R15 million in 2012 towards its integrated school programme, the Fundisa Programme. The programme follows a two-pillar education intervention model with the first pillar focusing on education across an individual's life stages, starting from early childhood development right through to tertiary education. The second pillar enables holistic support for beneficiary schools, resulting in a more effective school system.


South Africa picks next 19 projects in green energy drive
The Minister of Energy, Ms Dipuo Peters, has announced that South Africa has chosen 19 renewable energy projects in the second stage of its drive to cut its reliance on coal-fired plants. Bidders have until December to prove that the projects are financially viable. In a bid to reduce its carbon footprint, it launched a bidding process to eventually add up to 3,725 MW of green energy to the national grid by 2016.


Joburg promises to create 45 000 jobs
Residents of "distressed areas" around Johannesburg will receive a major boost when the city embarks on a campaign to help the poor and the unemployed. A total of R7million has been put aside for this flagship programme in which people will be encouraged to grow their own vegetable gardens to sustain themselves. Plans are also underway to make use of a piece of land in southern Johannesburg to launch farming projects to benefit the poor.


Projects of R3,2 trillion identified
The Government has earmarked R3,2 trillion for 17 key infrastructure programmes around the country. The Minister of Public Enterprises, Mr Malusi Gigaba, said this would help increase the level of private-sector investment in the local economy. The Government has identified various funding models, including the possibility of an infrastructure fund, public-private partnerships, public-public partnerships and other models to unlock the balance sheet of the private sector.


New treatment on the cards for diabetic (Type II) sufferers
Diabetic patients in South Africa will now have the option of a treatment that offers fewer side effects than the conventional one. Despite the fact that the medication could be expensive, medical adviser for the global healthcare company Novo Nordisk, Lindiwe Pemba, said the benefits far outweighed the cost.


South Africa's most famous township gets new theatre
Soweto is getting its first state-of-the-art theatre that could spark a theatre revival in the area known for its apartheid-era works that exposed the horrors of racist rule. The R150-million complex is part of an ambitious redevelopment plan by the City of Johannesburg.

Paralympic World Cup
At the Paralympic World Cup in Manchester, Oscar Pistorius defended his Paralympic World Cup title, running a time of 22.08 seconds.