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Mining in SA is not dying, says Mantashe

Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe said investments totalling R45 billion poured into the sector in the past year, which created about 4,000 jobs in a sector that has shed 75,000 jobs in the past five years.

Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe participating in the Sona debate on 25 June 2019. Picture: GCIS

CAPE TOWN - Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe said mining was a sunrise, rather than a sunset industry with significant untapped resources.

Mantashe was speaking in support of his department’s R2 billion budget at Parliament.

He said investments totalling R45 billion poured into the sector in the past year, which created about 4,000 jobs in a sector that has shed 75,000 jobs in the past five years.

Mantashe said mining would revive the economy, boost growth and development.

“Mining is a sunrise industry. We must prospect, explore and exploit the world-class mineral deposits we have. We will resuscitate greenfield exploration to capture a minimum of 5% of the global exploration share, which average US$10 billion per annum. The investment will attract a minimum of R8 billion into the exploration sector.”

But the DA’s Kevin Mileham insisted the industry was on its last legs.

“It is dying, not because the mineral resources are running out, but because of government ineptitude, poor policy choices and militant trade unions. It is dying because investors no longer wish to put capital into a country where the word of the government is no good.”

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