Date: Sep 12, 2018

Turning around the fortunes of South Africa’s mining industry will require greater collaboration between industry stakeholders, Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) director Yusuf Timol said on Tuesday.

Speaking at a presentation hosted by the Mining Equipment Manufacturers of South Africa (Memsa) on the sidelines of this year’s Electra Mining Africa conference and exhibition, in Johannesburg, Timol lamented the contraction South Africa’s economy.

A significant contributor to the contraction of the economy, he pointed out, is the trade balance.

Machinery and commodities were the main contributors to the negative movements in the country’s trade balance in recent quarters.

These contractions, Timol further highlighted, provides an idea of how serious and difficult the current trading environment is.

He, therefore, urged industry stakeholders to form collaborative platforms so that industry stakeholders, which includes the government and the private sector, to work as a collective.

“This will help us, as government, to provide the right trading environment for the private sector to be successful in their business,” he said.

Owing to the difficult trading conditions, the DTI will, moving forward, focus on several areas surrounding the South African mining industry.

The first will be focusing on regional integration, for which the DTI has established a special unit.

Additionally, Timol said that several projects are currently “on the table”, which include the Regional Mining Vision, which is driven by the Southern African Development Community region and will feed into the broader African mining vision.

Progress will be reviewed in a fortnight, he averred.

In addition, Timol said, the DTI is “working hard on regional value chains”, which include the Continental Free Trade Agreement.

“As a collective, [mining companies] need to put your minds together and make your submissions to get your items on the agenda, so that we can push your interests to the benefit of your company and, ultimately, the mining industry,” he implored.

Supplier development will also be a focus area, with the DTI to investigate what mining companies are buying, from who, at what price and what volumes are being bought.

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