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Motsepe: Mining sector will overcome difficult times

Jul 12 2015 12:00

Cape Town – South Africa can overcome its mining industry challenges, as long as global shareholders look at it as a competitive and a good industry to invest in, according to African Rainbow Minerals executive chairperson Patrice Motsepe.

Speaking on CNN Marketplace Africa, Motsepe said the mining industry has experienced greater challenges in the past and will overcome the current ones.

Motsepe admitted that the climate in the mining sector was a challenge. “We’ll find our way through these difficult times,” he said. “The mining industry in Africa, and in South Africa, has a very, very long history. We’ve had greater challenges in the past.”

“We've made a few mistakes in the past, as an industry,” he told CNN correspondent Diana Magnay. “And most of the mistakes were probably 30 years, more, or even 20 years ago.

“There's a huge realisation … to keep the industry globally competitive, because the investors in the mining industry do not have to invest in the mining industry,” he said. “We have to look at this industry from a medium to long-term perspective.”

Motsepe: We are absolutely committed

Motsepe was clear about the challenges that lie ahead. “Every country gets to a stage where there's a need for a fundamental review. And we are absolutely committed.

“I mean, the companies that I'm associated with are committed,” he said.

“I have no doubt that the whole of the mining industry is committed to cooperating, working together. And the end product has to be that shareholders, in London, in New York, worldwide, look at the South African mining industry as a competitive and a good industry to invest. Otherwise, there will be lots of challenges for all of us.”

Magnay raised the issue of black economic empowerment, a government policy which Motsepe has benefitted from in recent years. She challenges him about what he thinks needs to change, and how it should be reshaped so that both the people of South Africa and big business profit.

Entrepreneurship at the heart of BEE

Motsepe tells CNN Marketplace Africa: “At the heart of black economic empowerment, has to be entrepreneurship, has to be the encouragement of businesses which are built by women entrepreneurs, youth entrepreneurs. And the best partnerships that we've found to be successful is where black and white came together.”

“Black entrepreneurs had a passionate enthusiasm … [and] often didn't have the experience and the expertise, [so] partnered with established, historically white-owned companies…

“When those partnerships were established, which are mutually-beneficial, those were the sort of role model partnerships that we've encouraged, and that laid a foundation for the future.”

The programme, which first aired on Friday, can still be seen on Monday at 18:30 on CNN (DStv Channel 401) or anytime from Monday at www.cnn.com/marketplaceafrica.

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