CAPE TOWN – South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa said the power crisis in the county was taking a toll on mining, a key pillar of the economy. Ramaphosa made the comment while speaking at Indaba, the world’s largest mining investment conference, about “investing in African mining industry Indaba.”
The Minerals Council South Africa, which represents mining companies, estimates that total mining volumes have fallen by 6% or US$1.8 billion over the past year.
In his speech, Ramaphosa acknowledged that in 2022, 200 days of blackouts contributed to the recession.
“The power crisis alone has had a tremendous impact on mining as well as other industries,” he said. “Six months ago, we announced the national Energy Action Plan to improve the performance of our existing power stations and to add new generation capacity to the grid as quickly as possible.”
Ramaphosa said the fact that government is now allowing mining companies to generate their own electricity without any restrictions is going to make a huge difference.
“According to the Minerals Council of South Africa, since the licensing threshold was lifted, approximately 89 embedded projects have been developed with a focus on renewable solutions like solar, wind and battery storage,” he said. “Not only will these projects support mining operations themselves and bring down operation costs, but they will also add much needed power to the country’s overall supply and support South Africa’s decarbonization process.”
Minerals Council South Africa chief economist Henk Langenhoven said the president’s speech hit all the right notes in terms of what action is being put in place to solve the problems.
“I think the fact that load-shedding is touching every citizen and every voter is a big incentive to do something about it,” he said. “And lately we’ve seen a lot of urgency and a lot of pushing from the presidency, and our national treasury have a combined operation specifically looking at this. And they are very actively trying to quickly implement measures that will be implemented as soon as possible.
“As for other transportation and logistics challenges, Langenhoven says coal exports, which have increased by almost 150% in the past 12 months, have also been fueled by demand fueled by Russia’s war in Ukraine. said it fell for.
To solve these problems, the council planned to work with Transnet, a state-owned transportation and logistics company. In his speech, Mr Ramaphosa welcomed the cooperation and said the private sector is very important.
Langenhoven said he was very encouraged by the president’s statement that an electronic administrative system called Kadastre would soon be introduced.
“We were sluggish with that,” he said. “This is a complete disaster, the previous system. So it could be rolled out in six months. It’s 100% more efficient. It will take time to clear the backlog, but it will be a huge improvement.”
Mining analyst Peter Major of Modern Corporate Solutions also welcomed the cadastral announcement. He said the ruling African National Congress was at a dead end.
“Because they can’t pass all the assignments to their friends,” he said. No. Then three or four months later, “Oh, sorry, it turns out that someone already has your driver’s license,” or “Someone already has a very important part of your license.” It turned out to be a hotbed of corruption. ”