‘More that R50 billion could be added to SA’s GDP’

Jacob Zuma says Operation Phakisa has identified massive untapped wealth in the oceans surrounding SA.

FILE: President Jacob Zuma. Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - President Jacob Zuma says more than R50 billion could be added to South Africa's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) if the full potential of the ocean economy is realised through Operation Phakisa, which is why it's now being implemented in the mining sector.

The president says the initiative will be launched in October, having already been successful in the ocean economy and the health sector.

At current commodity prices, nearly half of the country's platinum mines and a third of gold mines are running at a loss.

Zuma says Operation Phakisa identified massive untapped wealth in the oceans surrounding South Africa.

"The oceans have a potential to contribute R54 billion to the Gross Domestic Product and an estimated 316,000 jobs."

He says this methodology will now be applied to the mining sector.

"The Mining Phakisa has the objective of building partnerships between government and key stakeholders in the mining sector so as to unlock investments."

The president says meetings have already taken place with the private sector.

Zuma says he is confident that a new development initiative in the mining industry will save jobs and boost growth in the sector, which is facing massive jobs cuts and struggling to make profit.

The president says Operation Phakisa brings government and the private sector together to seek solutions.

"What Operation Phakisa does is to bring these two together so that they can share views in an environment which is just not a boardroom discussion."

He says the scope is wide.

"This includes the development of emerging miners, enhancing investment and the infrastructure and funding proposals."