Johannesburg - The South African mining industry will regain
its competitiveness as its growth constraints are addressed, said the mineral
resources department on Tuesday.
The Minister of Mineral Resources Susan Shabangu had been
scheduled to address a mining lekgotla in Midrand but her speech was
read by Joe Raphela, deputy director general in her department, instead.
The minister urged delegates to harness the spirit of
collaboration which had characterised the transition to democracy.
"We did this democracy thing ourselves. We did not ask
outsiders to solve what were our own political problems."
Delegates should work together to outline a joint vision for
the industry. Government was addressing the lack of infrastructure which had
hampered growth, according to Shabangu.
Efforts were also being made to address the skills shortage.
As a result, the industry would regain its competitiveness. It had already
moved up in international rankings.
The Fraser Institute's mineral competitiveness index saw
South Africa occupying 54th spot out of 93 countries.
This was an improvement of 13 places from 2010.
Cabinet's beneficiation policy, approved last year, would
create jobs and enable further industrialisation, Shabangu's speech read.
In addition, the department itself was reviewing its
internal processes to strengthen capacity. The Minerals and Petroleum Resources
and Development Act (MPRDA) and Mine Health and Safety Act would also be
Neville Nicolau, CEO of Anglo Platinum [JSE:AMS], said South
Africa's lack of competitiveness was a "real problem" given its
The debate around nationalisation had resulted in a
discussion around taxation, so that the country would benefit from the
But the real problem, which had led to the call for
nationalisation, had not been addressed.
"Unemployed youth is a real social problem that needs
to be addressed," he said.