The mining sector has played a role in saving the country’s economy from challenges brought by the COVID-19 pandemic. This was said by Mineral Resources and Energy Minister, Gwede Mantashe at the first day of the Limpopo Mining Investment Conference in Polokwane.  

The sector is the backbone of the economy in three provinces, namely Limpopo, North West and Northern Cape.  

Mantashe says the sector continues to grow. 

“Mining is doing well. Mining has played a very important role in saving the economy. During lockdown, the country was able to take advantage of global economic boom amid global supply shortage. In 2021, mining production in South Africa improved in March, April and May. And during three-month total production grew by 22.4%, 117.4%, 21.9% year-on-year. Furthermore, total mineral sales went up by 21%, 12%, 88.2%. 

Chairperson of the House of Traditional Leaders in Limpopo, Kgosi Malesela Dikgale says mining companies are often at loggerheads with communities they are mining from because they fail to develop the areas.

“These mining companies have taken the back seat for a long time. It’s long that they have been not contributing to the development of this communities. It’s long that they have not been improving roads. It’s long that they have been not building clinics. But at the moment, we can see there is a bridge that is going to be built at Ga-Malekana. That bridge is a good example of what the mines can do for development in the community.”