The Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy, Gwede Mantashe, says government has taken a decision to allow mining companies to generate energy for self-use without getting a licence. He says this is to mitigate the challenges experienced by mining companies due to electricity shortages.

The country is currently in the grip of ongoing load shedding which is likely to cripple production.

“Because of problems of energy, we must allow mining companies to generate energy for self-use – you don’t need a licence for that you just register. Secondly, we will talk to investors to start a generating company outside of Eskom that is a security measure.”

Mantashe also says significant progress has been made in reducing fatalities in South African mines.

He says last year mining fatalities dropped to 51 compared to 81 recorded in the previous year. Mantashe was delivering a keynote address at the Mining Indaba currently under way in Cape Town. He’s called on all stakeholders in the mining industry to redouble their efforts to reach the goal of zero harm.