Oct 01, 2010
Antwerp|Engineering|Africa|Engineering News|Johannesburg Stock Exchange|Mining Weekly|Petra Diamonds|Platinum|Roads|Xstrata|Africa|South Africa|GIBS University|Energy|Logistics|Mining|Product|Transport|Diamonds|Northern Cape|Caesar Molebatsi|Martin Creamer|Engineering News
© Reuse this
Molebatsi: At last, the Bafokeng community are listing their very own platinum company on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange.
Creamer: The Bafokeng community have been a model of how to develop themselves economically and now they no longer going to be the passenger in the plane, they are not even going to be co-pilot, they are going to be the pilot.
They have now got their own platinum assets and it is going to be under Royal Bafokeng Platinum. It is going to be listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange before the end of the year. We have seen them have interests in other companies and we've seen them build up their wealth and now they are going to be an owner and operator and manager with their own people in.
They are actually going to produce and market that platinum. So, a tremendous achievement for what will be RB Platinum.
Molebatsi: Now, of course, this is a real BBBEE investment. How many people benefit from this and how do they actually keep it up?
Creamer: There are about 300 000 people from this. You can see the visible demonstrable wealth creation when you go into Phokeng and you see the roads and the schools and the houses and even the sport stadiums.
One thing they do is that they hold their leadership to account. They even have mass meetings within the sports stadiums where they robustly ask questions of their leadership as to what they are doing with the wealth.
Molebatsi: A hundred years ago they made a wise investment didn't they?
Creamer: Well that King a hundred years ago realised the importance of title deeds. You must get title to the property and he sent a regiment down to Kimberley to earn some cash from the diamond mines.
Then they came running back and gave him that cash and he was able to buy this property, which has leveraged enormous wealth for the community.
Molebatsi: Well continue with matters related to diamonds, we understand that De Beers is to sell off another two of its South African diamond mines.
Creamer: De Beers has become a serial seller of diamond mines after being a pioneer here and it now can pass on the mines that no longer fit its criteria to others. We see that one persons poison may be another persons meat.
We saw Petra Diamonds take over five of their assets and doing very well with their assets. We saw this week Jagersfontein is going to a broad based BEE company and there is still more to sell. De Beers is still going to sell Namaqualand and also Finsch.
Finsch is an historic mine that has done very well in the Northern Cape, but it is no longer meeting those strict criteria, particularly commercial criteria, that De Beers have. So it is offering them to others and those negotiations are taking place as we speak.
Molebatsi: Mining has a major role to play to grow South Africa's economy, says global company Xstrata.
Creamer: You know, it seems like something that we shouldn't have to repeat, but Xstrata took the trouble to present at GIBS University this week to reemphasise the fact that actually the way South African economy is going to grow needs the mining industry, it needs that mining and beneficiation.
We see how much we lost out during the last boom. Most other mining countries grew by 5% during that 2001 to 2008. We shrunk by 1%, which means we lost 45 000 permanent job opportunities plus an injection of more then R50-billion into our economy.
We are seeing another boom starting to appear, because that economic meltdown was a financial meltdown that involved banks. It never actually changed the fundamentals of the commodities business, where demand is still strong and supply is static.
So, you know again we are moving into another bubble period for commodities and South Africa mustn't lose this time round. The last time we lost was mainly because of energy and transport constraints. We are still in those positions where we can not really beneficiate without energy.
You need energy and you can't export without getting your product to markets. So you need those two, logistics and energy.
Molebatsi: Now the President has been in Antwerp as you know and I was astounded that Antwerp has been dealing with diamonds for 500 years. The President was saying that after 500 years that surely they should be prepared to help us beneficiate.
Creamer: We need to beneficiate and things like diamonds wouldn't be an energy intensive situation, so there is more prospect for doing that.
But, if you want to beneficiate across the broad spectrum, of course, you need strong energy and we still haven't got all the answers out of the people who run our energy business and strong logistics and we still need some answers from the transport people.
Molebatsi: Thanks very much. Martin Creamer is publishing editor of Engineering News and Mining Weekly, he'll be back with us at the same time next week.
Edited by: Creamer Media Reporter© Reuse this Comment Guidelines (150 word limit)
Recent Research Reports
Defence 2014: A review of South Africa's defence industry (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Defence 2014 report examines South Africa’s defence industry, with particular focus on the key participants in the sector, the innovations that have come out of the sector, local and export demand, South Africa’s controversial multibillion-rand...
Road and Rail 2014: A review of South Africa's road and rail infrastructure (PDF report)
Creamer Media’s Road and Rail 2014 report examines South Africa’s road and rail transport system, with particular focus on the size and state of the country’s road and rail network, the funding and maintenance of these respective networks, and the push to move road...
Real Economy Year Book 2014 (PDF Report)
This edition drills down into the performance and outlook for a variety of sectors, including automotive, construction, electricity, transport, steel, water, coal, gold, iron-ore and platinum.
Real Economy Insight: Automotive 2014 (PDF Report)
This four-page brief covers key developments in the automotive industry over the past 12 months, including an overview of South Africa’s automotive market, trade figures, production and the policies influencing the sector.
Real Economy Insight: Construction 2014 (PDF Report)
This five-page brief covers key developments in the construction industry over the past 12 months. It provides an overview of the sector and includes details of employment in the sector, infrastructure and municipal spending, as well as insight into companies’...
Real Economy Insight: Electricity 2014 (PDF Report)
This five-page brief covers key developments in the electricity industry over the past 12 months, including details of State-owned power utility Eskom’s generation activities, funding and tariffs, independent power producers and prospects for the sector.
This Week's Magazine
Updated 3 hours ago As the City of Ekurhuleni continues its bid to develop the largely industrialised metropole into the continent’s first aerotropolis, executive mayor Mondli Gungubele has committed the city to creating a predictable, stable and enabling business environment in which...
Updated 3 hours ago While Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa (FMCSA) did not have “significant issues” with power supply in Gauteng, it was a different story in the Eastern Cape, said FMCSA and American Chamber of Commerce in South Africa president Jeff Nemeth earlier this month....
Updated 3 hours ago In 2000, exports into Africa from South Africa represented less than 5% of the turnover of Federal Mogul Motorparts Africa, with sales largely centred around Zimbabwe, Zambia, Malawi and Mozambique. Today, African exports represent 30% of sales, with trade expanded...
Updated 3 hours ago The Malawi government has launched a $50-million project to upgrade the Kamuzu barrage, on the Shire river, an outlet of Lake Malawi, which is used to control the flow of water from the lake to the lower Shire area. The project will run from this year to 2017 and...
Updated 3 hours ago Our new Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Colleges will replace the Further Education and Training (FET) Colleges which have served us for the past twenty years. The buildings will be the same and most of the staff will be the same but as the...