Mantashe: Mining sector should be allowed to generate own power

Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe conceded that South Africa's power crisis was impeding growth.

Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe speaks at the 2020 Mining Indaba held at the CTICC in Cape Town on 3 February 2020. Picture: @GwedeMantashe1/Twitter

CAPE TOWN - Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe said that government would rope in investors to start an energy generating company outside of Eskom.

Mantashe opened the African Mining Indaba in Cape Town on Monday morning.

He said that mining companies would also be allowed to generate their own electricity.

The minister opened the gathering by referring to the International Monetary Fund’s GDP growth projection for South Africa, which points to under 1%.

"According to the International Monetary Fund, South Africa's GDP growth prospescts for 2020 will be under 1%. The reasons for this growth outlook are set to be structural constraints and recent power outages."

The latest Statistics South Africa data shows mining production decreased by 3.1% year-on-year in November 2019.

Mantashe said that energy security for the sector was key.

The minister also touched on the country’s electricity struggles, saying it was time to return to a state when there was an energy surplus.