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Gigaba: Talks with Zwane to resolve #MiningCharter stalemate

Dec 16 2017 17:02
Lameez Omarjee

Johannesburg – The stalemate on the Mining Charter 2017 must be resolved so that the sector can return to its glory days as the driver of economic growth, according to Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba.

He was speaking at the Progressive Business Forum at the ANC’s 54th National Conference, which started on Saturday.

“We are talking with [Mineral Resources] Minister [Mosebenzi] Zwane. We must resolve the stalemate between government and the mining sector to find a resolution to get the mining sector working again and playing its role in uplifting economic performance,” said Gigaba.

Ahead of his maiden mini-budget in October, Gigaba previously told journalists that a task team had been established to resolve the Mining Charter impasse.

The charter is expected to be reviewed by a court in mid-February 2018. Zwane has suspended the implementation of the charter pending the judgement.

During a question and answer session following his address on Saturday, Gigaba highlighted that during the past three years mining productivity had been negative.

In his view, this was mainly due to the global economic slowdown, lower demand for commodities globally, as well as the platinum strike in 2014, which hit the mining investment climate.

The mining sector has, however, been contributing to the positive gross domestic product (GDP) growth throughout the year.

Gigaba pointed out that the agriculture sector is doing the “heavier lifting” for economic performance, when it should actually be the mining sector. The mining sector’s contribution to overall GDP for the year could have been better, he said.

Beneficiation to drive productivity

Gigaba stressed the importance of improving the productivity of the sector.

“We need to improve the productivity of the mining sector and ensure we have beneficiation taking place.”

He added that beneficiation would only be driven by collaboration between the State and the private sector to bring on private capital.

Beneficiation, depending on how it is implemented, will ensure that productivity of the sector continues, even if mining activity slows down.

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