Calls for 2024 African Mining Indaba to broaden focus

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The Bench Marks Foundation says the 2024 Investing in African Mining Indaba should tackle and address the high unemployment rate, increase skills development, and increase black ownership in the mining industry.

President Cyril Ramaphosa says the mining sector has seen significant growth and major transformation, with black ownership increasing from 2% in 2004 to 39% this year.

The Mining Indaba, currently underway in Cape Town, is the world’s largest gathering of influential stakeholders in the mining industry and it focuses on the capitalisation and development of mining interests in Africa.

Lead Researcher at the Bench Marks Foundation, David Van Wyk says South Africa has a lot of fundamental challenges to address in the mining sector.

“When we talk about the increase in ownership, it’s very small scale, and in terms of exports, it’s largely insignificant. We have to be honest with the population when we speak about these things; we have very few large-scale mines that are owned by black people.”

He further adds, “Because the mining sector is dominated by a few small companies, there are high levels of unemployment, inequalities, and poverty in the country. People are stealing copper, railway lines, and all kinds of things to put food on their table. We need to address the fundamental issue of our country, and unless we do that, we are not going to deal with crime and illegal mining.”

Investing in African Mining: Katlego Legodi gives an update

Speaking yesterday on the 8th anniversary of the Lily Mine tragedy, where 3 people lost their lives following a collapse in Barberton, Van Wyk expressed disappointment with South Africa’s focus on mining as a cornerstone of the economy.

Van Wyk said it was time to move to manufacturing and other higher levels of economic activity.

Lily Mine | ‘SA obsessed with mining instead of moving to higher level economy’: David van Wyk

SABC News Katlego Legodi at Investing in African Mining Indaba