Posted: June 23, 2019
Mining Key in Industrialising South Africa DRC
|The South African Consul General to the Democratic Republic Congo (DRC), Mr Andrew Maswanganye says the mining sector is key in driving industrialisation and beneficiation for both South Africa and the DRC. Maswanganye was speaking at the 15th edition of the DRC Mining Week held in Lubumbashi, DRC.
“Every day consumers use mobile phones and laptops whose tantalum capacitors might have been produced out of coltan from the DRC and that we also drive cars whose catalytic converters might have been made from platinum mined in South Africa. Unfortunately, none of these final consumer goods are manufactured in these rich mineral countries. Instead, our minerals are still beneficiated in highly industrialised non-African countries and exported back to our countries as consumer products,” said Maswanganye.
According to Maswanganye, there are however, observable efforts to change this unsustainable mineral-industrial complex in both countries. He said both South Africa and the DRC embarked on the process of reviewing their respective mining regulations to address these issues.
“South Africa has embarked on the process of reviewing the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act of 2002 and the Mining Charter in order to ensure regulatory certainty and the attainment of government’s objectives of redressing historical, social and economic inequalities as stated in the constitution,” he said.
He also said on the DRC side, government has also embarked on the process of revising its 2002 Mining Code in order to fulfil the broad objectives of mainstreaming the Congolese citizens in the mining operations whilst ensuring fair returns for government and the investors.
“This DRC government intervention is to formalise, regulate and professionalise artisanal and small-scale mining in order improve their livelihoods, stimulate entrepreneurship and promote local and integrated development,” he added.
Maswanganye anticipated that the mining industry, which already contributes about US$24.6 billion of South Africa’s export earnings, shall embrace the revised regulatory instruments with enthusiam.
More recent data shows that mining production in South Africa rose by 0.5 percent year-on-year in October 2018, contributing USD 30.6 billion to the economy largely due to increased production of nickel, diamonds, manganese and chromium ores although jobs continue to be shed in the gold and platinum sectors.