The inaugural Northern Cape Mining Investment Lekgotla, held in Kathu in early July, is the first in a series of three high-level economic reconstruction dialogues designed to contribute to improving engagement between the government, the investor community, local businesses and other stakeholders with a role in unlocking the potential of key economic sectors.
The lekgotla was an initiative of Nascence Advisory and the mineral resources & energy department, in partnership with Transnet, and adopted a regional and sectoral focus.
Logistics have been determined to be a key contributor to the growth potential of the sector, as well as the viability of junior or emerging miners. Transnet group CEO Portia Derby discussed the need to drive the cost of logistics down to ensure the SA economy is globally competitive. This, she said, is a fundamental change in Transnet, away from a divisional, modal service offering, to strategic participation and structured collaboration in an integrated commodity supply chain.
This means Transnet is focusing on what it is good at and is collaborating with the private sector where necessary to benefit the economy.
Speaking to the provision and expansion of reliable transport infrastructure, Transnet Freight Rail CEO Sizakele Mzimela said despite increasing capacity between 2016 and 2019 Transnet continues to suffer capacity constraints. Given that the main rail routes linking the Northern Cape with Gqeberha (Port Elizabeth) and Saldanha are running at capacity, Transnet is investigating alternatives. In particular, she said, Transnet is committed to better supporting emerging miners.
Inclusive mining is also a critical area which has emerged in fostering a stable mining sector capable of attracting investment. On this point Northern Cape premier Dr Zamani Saul said it was important that businesses based in the Northern Cape benefit from preferential mining procurement and that enterprise development takes place at all mining operations in the province.