South Africa’s mining sector would play an important role in the country’s economic recovery, said President Cyril Ramaphosa Monday.
“Mining contributes over half of our goods exports, around 10 percent of GDP and 5 percent of employment. It is a pillar of our capital goods industry. It is not a coincidence that when global metals prices peak, our economy and job creation also surge,” he said in the weekly newsletter published Monday by the Presidency.
Ramaphosa said the country’s trade surplus of 54.6 billion South African rand (about 3.83 billion U.S. dollars) recorded in May was mainly due to minerals and precious metal exports.
“The surplus is due to a 1.5 percent increase in exports between April and May. Our trade balance surplus has been increasing year on year,” he said. “As we intensify these efforts in the face of a third wave of infections, we are greatly encouraged by the latest evidence of economic recovery.”
Ramaphosa, however, also said the mining sector should tackle some of its problems which have contributed to inequality levels.
“Ownership is concentrated in a few huge companies, while workplaces, pay-scales and communities around the mines are still largely shaped by discriminatory relationships established under apartheid,” he noted.
The president believed it is the time to facilitate investment along the mining value chain to promote broader job creation, small business development and growth in dynamic new industries.
“Investment in infrastructure is a crucial part of government’s contribution to growth in mining,” he said. Enditem