Team SA will woo investors in Davos

2015-01-20 06:00

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International investors continue to see South Africa as a reliable investment destination, with foreign direct investment projects having grown incrementally between 2007 and 2012.

At the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland – set to take place from January 21 to 24 – TeamSA will bring this message to the approximately 2?500 participants there: South Africa is open for business, and remains an attractive and reliable investment destination.

We’ll be driving home the point that South Africa remains a competitive business and investment destination of choice despite the challenges, which are being resolved.

The mining industry continues to make a valuable contribution to the economy, most notably in terms of foreign exchange earnings, employment and economic activity.

In 2010, Citibank affirmed South Africa as the wealthiest mining jurisdiction, with total mineral reserves of $2.5?trillion (R28.8?trillion at the current exchange rate), exclusive of energy commodities.

The available geological information also indicates that South Africa is a good prospect for the discovery of more world-class deposits.

The mining sector contributes 9% to gross domestic product and earns more than 30% in foreign exchange.

The sector generates an annual income of more than R330?billion and accounts for 10% fixed capital formation in the country.

Mining also contributes significantly to the fiscus, including an annual average of R17?billion in corporate tax and R6?billion in royalties.

The future of the industry and its impact on the economy and social infrastructure constitutes the agenda of the strategic tripartite structure known as the Mining Industry Growth, Development and Employment Task Team, with significant progress being attained. The framework agreement for a sustainable mining industry corroborates the significance attached to stabilising the mining industry and has borne fruit, with the production of minerals expected to be about 6%.

To ensure the sustainability of the industry now and in future, the departments of mineral resources and environmental affairs recently announced the introduction of a new system to further improve the competitiveness of our mining sector.

The One Environmental System, as it is known, is aimed at streamlining the licensing processes of various authorities.

It represents government’s commitment to improving the ease of doing business and enhances South Africa’s global competitiveness as a mining investment destination.

Relevant authorisations for mining, environment and water use are issued in 300 days. If a decision is appealed, another 90 days are granted to finalise the process.

Environmental mineral resource inspectors, who have the same powers as environmental management inspectors to enforce the provisions of the National Environmental Management Act, have already been designated.

Under the system, the mineral resources minister is responsible for issuing environmental authorisations and waste management licences for mining and related activities. At the same time, the environmental affairs minister is the appeal authority for these authorisations. This new system was announced by President Jacob Zuma in his state of the nation speech last year.

South Africa is becoming an economic force to be reckoned with in a rapidly changing global economic context, mainly due to the long-term socioeconomic vision and the associated policymaking of the government.

Its successes, in terms of its global perception and rankings in key indices, such as the World Economic Forum Global Competitiveness Report, the World Bank Ease of Doing Business Index, and the World Economic Forum Travel and Tourism Index, could set a benchmark for other mining jurisdictions to follow this global trailblazer.

Ramatlhodi is minister of mineral resources.

Follow TeamSA at Davos on @Brand_SA #SAinDavos from January 21 to 24

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