Africa under-explored, says Shabangu

2012-08-29 09:50

The mineral development potential of Africa is unparalleled, Mineral Resources Minister Susan Shabangu has said.

However, the continent remained grossly under-explored in this respect, she said at a conference in Perth, Australia.

“While we have the world’s most abundant resources and reserves of platinum group metals in South Africa, the sector experienced a supply demand imbalance last year.

“This resulted mainly from a significant slow-down in demand from the traditional consumers of platinum.”

She said the ramifications of “depressed demand for platinum” were severe especially when the cost of inflation for production was high.

Shabangu also told delegates about the shooting at Lonmin’s Marikana mine in North West two weeks ago.

Police opened fire on striking workers killing 34 and injuring 78 people.

“The president and people of South Africa are determined to isolate bad elements in our society that are seemingly committed to undermine the democratic gains of the country to date,” said Shabangu.

“I commend the leadership of the organised labour movements in the industry... for working with government in seeking to collectively develop modalities of ensuring that the Marikana tragedy is never repeated anywhere else in this industry.”

She said South Africa was a progressive constitutional democratic state, which enshrined the right of workers to organise.

“We are equally a country with laws within which such a right can be duly exercised.”

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