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Minerals Council welcomes move to level 1, backs Ramaphosa's recovery plan

The council on Friday said the mining industry supported President Cyril Ramaphosa’s call to ‘move to rebuild South Africa’s battered economy, restore growth and create jobs’.

Mine workers. Picture: @SAgovnews/Twitter

JOHANNESBURG - As the country prepares to move to level 1 of the lockdown, the Minerals Council South Africa on Friday said that citizens and businesses needed to remain vigilant and keep themselves safe.

The council welcomed the decision to further lift restrictions on economic activity from Monday.

“The Minerals Council also shares the view of the president and of the country’s health experts cautioning that, while restrictions are being relaxed, South African businesses, other institutions, and citizens must remain vigilant and continue to exercise safe behaviour at home, at work, and in their communities,” the Minerals Council said in a statement.

It said that the mining industry supported President Cyril Ramaphosa’s call to “move to rebuild South Africa’s battered economy, restore growth and create jobs”.

“To this end, the Minerals Council reiterates its support for the economic recovery strategy developed under the auspices of Business for South Africa (B4SA) and Business Unity South Africa (Busa),” the statement read.

Minerals Council CEO Roger Baxter said that COVID-19 had made a bad situation worse, pointing out that the economy was in a state of crisis before the pandemic.

“Over the past decade the South African economy decoupled from other emerging economies in terms of having a much slower economic growth rate,” Baxter said.

“We have experienced declining international competitiveness, a collapse in business and investor confidence, falling investment, low levels of economic growth, rising unemployment, and accelerating poverty and social upheaval. COVID-19 has made a bad situation worse.”

Baxter said that the country needed to address the key issues that were undermining competitiveness and impeding growth potential.

“Like the rest of the economy, the mining industry has significant potential, and if the issues holding it back were to be addressed, this potential could be unleashed, enabling the industry and the country to embark on a new path of inclusive growth and investment, and ultimately, a better future for all,” he said.

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