Aug 20, 2010
© Reuse this
Letoaba: South Africa needs to target a sustained economic growth of 7% a year for 20 years to dent rampant unemployment. Is this possible?
Creamer: You know the Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan believes that time is opportune now for us to set a target like this, because we know that other countries are doing it. They set large targets and they achieve them. We also know that our unemployment level has breached the 25 % mark.
We now have between 4 million and 6 million South Africans sitting out there unemployed. We also have 4 million of those who are between 15 and 24 who have got matric and below that haven't got any prospects of jobs. That cannot continue.
We also know that with the World Cup, when we set our mind to something we can do it. It is only a matter of will. The Finance Minister says that it is now opportune and it's got to be a spectacular target and we have got to achieve it. We have got to go for a growth rate, a gross domestic product increase a year of 7 % growth rate for 20 years, not for one year and then stop.
We have got to go for 20 years in order to deal with this serious unemployment problem. Then also, of course, to get growth into the country, strong economic growth.
Letoaba: AngloGold Ashanti is studying the feasibility of going ahead with two large new gold mine projects. What are they likely to find there?
Creamer: It is interesting that gold is still being found quite close to where we are sitting here in Johannesburg. I mean, we know that Gold Fields has got the big South Deep project. We also know Harmony Gold is out at Doornkop and Elandsrand.
AngloGold Ashanti is looking at two new projects, which are described as very exciting. These are at the West Wits in Carletonville and also the Vaal River area where they have their mining activities already. They are studying projects in addition to what their current mining activities that will require about a billion dollar investment in each area.
They would give something like between 10 million and 20 million ounces of gold. They will also have a long life these mines of between 20 and 30 years. One of the things that is very interesting as they go deeper now they also demand higher grade and what they are finding there is higher grade gold.
We are talking about 20 grams a ton plus. This is a very good grade. So, very exciting prospects for AngloGold Ashanti. They are looking, of course, globally to increase their ounce production beyond the 4 million plus that it currently is, by another million.
They have got an embarrassment of riches when it comes to projects. These are two in South Africa and they are also looking at several in continental Africa, in Australia and the Americas that would give them another additional million ounces a year.
Letoaba: You spoke about him briefly, but South Africa's Finance Minister is willing to have a relook at failed junior miner incentives. Tell us about this.
Creamer: We have got to get the junior miners sector going. We know that government, business and labour met on the mining front and one of the things they said was that they must boost this junior sector and also boost more exploration.
We know that the government came out last year with a set of incentives. They gazetted them on June 1 and it was meant to help the junior miner to get into this space, but these have not been taken up, they have failed.
They have been too parsimonious, stingy if one could say that, and not reflecting the overall mining industry. They had a big build up and we thought we would get something equivalent to what happens in Canada with the flow-through scheme.
We can see that over 40 years in Canada those incentives have built a massive financial hub, a mining hub that assists Africa. We need to do something similar in South Africa and the new Finance Minister says he is willing to take new written proposals to see how we can boost this junior mining sector.
Letoaba: 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)
Updated 5 minutes ago It is imperative for the local industry to strike a healthy balance between international competition and dumping, the Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of Southern Africa (Seifsa) has said. A flood of cheap imports; unfair competition from highly...
Updated 1 hour 5 minutes ago Scheduled blackouts are unlikely to happen on Friday and the weekend, Eskom said. "Our aspiration is not to have loadshedding today and the weekend," spokesperson Khulu Phasiwe said.
Updated 1 hour 53 minutes ago Private equity will play a key role in developing Africa given the massive needs for capital on the continent, says Blackstone Group, which is focusing on infrastructure projects involving power generation and transmission. CEO Steve Schwarzman said he would continue...
Recent Research Reports
Construction 2015: A review of South Africa’s construction sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Construction 2015 Report examines South Africa’s construction industry over the past 12 months. The report provides insight into the business environment; the key participants in the sector; local construction demand; geographic diversification;...
Liquid Fuels 2014 - A review of South Africa's Liquid Fuels sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Liquid Fuels 2014 Report examines these issues, focusing on the business environment, oil and gas exploration, the country’s feedstock supplies, the development of South Africa’s biofuels industry, fuel pricing, competition in the sector, the...
Water 2014: A review of South Africa's water sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Water 2014 report considers the aforementioned issues, not only in the South African context, but also in the African and global context, and examines the issues of water and sanitation, water quality and the demand for water, among others.
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.
This Week's Magazine
The World Bank, the European Union, the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the government of Sweden have agreed to provide Zimbabwe and Zambia with $294-million for the repair of structural deformations on the Kariba dam wall and avert the possible collapse of the...
Executive chairperson of the Global Electricity Initiative (GEI) Philippe Joubert says energy utilities globally, together with the business community more generally, have come to terms with the science of climate change, particularly as extreme weather events begin...
JSE-listed Emira Property Fund reported distribution growth per participatory interest (PI) of 9% for the six months ended December 31, 2014.
Sub-Saharan Africa is still faced with the challenge of providing citizens access to electricity and an additional $450-billion will need to be invested to ensure that people in urban areas have access to electricity by 2040.
Consulting Engineers South Africa (Cesa) last month said it was dismayed that the Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) was seconding 35 Cuban engineers on a two-year contract to share their expertise with South African engineers in the water sector.