http://www.engineeringnews.co.za
  SEARCH
Login
R/€ = 17.17Change: -16.99
R/$ = 14.94Change: -14.79
Au 1282.15 $/ozChange: 4.03
Pt 1060.00 $/ozChange: 5.50
 
 
Note: Search is limited to the most recent 250 articles. Set date range to access earlier articles.
Where? With... When?








Start
 
End
 
 
And must exclude these words...
Close Main Search
Close Main Login
My Profile News Alerts Newsletters Logout Close Main Profile
 
Agriculture   Automotive   Chemicals   Competition Policy   Construction   Defence   Economy   Electricity   Energy   Environment   ICT   Metals   Mining   Science and Technology   Services   Trade   Transport & Logistics   Water  
What's On Press Office Tenders Suppliers Directory Research Jobs Announcements Letters About Us
 
 
 
RSS Feed
Article   Comments   Other News   Research   Magazine  
 
 
Sep 21, 2012

21/09/2012 (On-The-Air)

Back
safm20sept2012
 
 
 
Rustenburg|Sun City|Africa|Business|Engineering|Engineering News|Environment|Health|Impala Platinum|Mining|Mining Weekly|Platinum|Power|Roads|Safety|Sanitation|Storage|Waste|Water|Africa|America|Australia|South Africa|Mine Health|Products|Wonder Metal|Infrastructure|Martin Creamer|Steve Phiri|Waste|Engineering News|Laptop Computer
|Africa|Business|Engineering|Environment|Health|Mining|Platinum|Power|Roads|Safety|Sanitation|Storage|Waste|Water|Africa||||Products||Infrastructure|Waste||
rustenburg|sun-city|africa-company|business|engineering|engineering-news|environment|health|impala-platinum|mining|mining-weekly-company|platinum|power|roads|safety|sanitation|storage|waste-company|water|africa|america|australia-country|south-africa|mine-health-facility|products|wonder-metal|infrastructure|martin-creamer|steve-phiri|waste|engineering-news-published-medium|laptop-computer



 

Every Friday morning, SAfm’s AMLive’s radio anchor Xolani Gwala speaks to Martin Creamer, publishing editor of Engineering News and Mining Weekly. Reported here is this Friday’s At the Coalface transcript:

Gwala: Platinum is a wonder metal that has a potential to be a key part of tomorrow’s world, Martin, or be driven out of business because of unreliable South African supply.

Creamer: Yes, I think South Africans will play fast and loose with this wonder metal at their peril. I think the whole of South Africa needs to know how valuable it is. We think of platinum, but there are six parts to platinum: there are six platinum-group metals and these are becoming ubiquitous in the world and very much part of the modern world.

When you think of just the platinum coils that can now go into the brain to cure aneurysms that prevents people from having surgery. The platinum that goes into the pacemaker for the heart and those same pacemakers are now being used for the brain. The platinum and iridium and ruthenium and all the other products that go into hard drives in computers create that storage.

I mean, ruthenium, which is one of the platinum-group metals, and I’m saying there are six of them, we mustn’t forget that, that has increased the storage of your laptop computer a hundred fold. You’ve gone from megabyte to terabyte because of ruthenium and where does the ruthenium come from? South Africa.

South Africa is in the middle of tomorrow’s world with platinum and here we are, playing fast and loose with it. If you play fast and loose, the price could spike. The moment the price spikes because of delivery uncertainties or unreliable supply, scientists look for other things. I mean, the world is competitive and although we say this is not substitutable, I bet my bottom dollar that scientists, if they have to, because of price, they will find something else.

So we should really be concerned about making sure that platinum business is reliable, competitive and perhaps we have been price takers for too long, maybe there should be some price-making element to try and create some stability because if we’re going to have to pay more to workers, we’re going to have to also consider mechanisation – that very big thing that’s on the cards.

Everybody is considering that now because they compare us to what is paid in Australia and America, but that’s a different ball game with the mechanisation, the level of mechanisation here. Perhaps we need to adopt that as well. But one thing is for sure: we’ve got to make sure that we protect this treasure trove that we have; that we’re blessed with in the Bushveld - of the platinum-group metals and also the chrome that goes with it.

We can see that chrome is also under threat. So it’s a twin whammy we’re having. There are a lot of changes in the world and we should actually be focusing our minds towards being a reliable supplier. Instead we are starting to destroy our industry.

Gwala: Just staying with platinum there, Martin. The head of South Africa’s only black-owned, black-managed and black-operated platinum company is pleading for a collaborative rebuilding of the stricken platinum business.

Creamer: You know, they were quite emotional this week, the Bafokeng, because they are really deeply within the platinum belt and they know how valuable this is.

They know the battle that they’ve had to actually get a share of this and Steve Phiri, who is becoming a leading figure now, he said that South Africa needs to wake up and behold! They must stop killing themselves. He’s saying that the platinum industry is seriously bleeding and it could bleed to death if we don’t start working collaboratively and having an enabling, regulatory environment.

One of the big things that is holding South Africa back, and we know we have the triple evils of poverty, inequality and unemployment. People are saying this is a great evil, but why do we have that? Business people say that if we could have predictive policy that can be implemented, we can make sure that we get rid of the unemployment, get rid of the inequality, we can actually reduce the poverty substantially.

So they’re pleading with government now not to erode the competitiveness of business, to make sure there’s a good regulatory environment. And when you bring in legislation it’s got to have good intention and good implementation. And we see so much that may have good intention, but no implementation or very bad implementation; and just an example, which the industry is now raising is Section 54 of the Mine Health and Safety Act.

Now the government was correct to introduce some stringent measures to make sure that there is safety, but the implementation was so bad that it actually sabotaged our industry. It sabotaged the platinum industry. For instance, they would come in and have a look at a railway line and see a tiny little fault in the line and they would stop the whole mine.

I mean, that line could be fixed within a few minutes, but just to show their power and to show that they’re really going to do something, they stop the whole mine. That actually creates a greater environment for people to die, because when you stop and start mines it becomes very, very dangerous. So there we see a good intention with a policy and regulation, but shocking implementation that actually sabotaged our country.

Gwala: Just to go back to the Bafokeng community because the R6-billion-plus, and this is a lot of money, that the Bafokeng community has received in platinum dividends has been invested in social infrastructure in 29 villages.

Creamer: Now just look at that. The Bafokeng, they are now the biggest single shareholder of the world’s second-biggest platinum company, Impala Platinum. They also have a partnership with Anglo American in RBPlat, which is Royal Bafokeng Platinum, so they’re actually miners and operators themselves.

From the dividends, R6-billion worth of dividends, they haven’t said they are going to dish this out in cash to our people. No, they have done the job of the taxpayer. What we should be doing, they did with that money. They took that money and they ploughed it back into schools, roads, water and sanitation in 29 villages.

And they also built some super infrastructure. You’ve got the sports palace and all those other things. That is not their job to do. They could have well have taken those dividends and pocketed them and bought new cars. We’ve seen in other situations where there is a lack of structure amongst the community and things fall apart.

We saw it at Wesizwe, where people were anxious to get their hands on that cash so that they could spend it on consumer goods. You saw nothing going back into the ground, whereas the Bafokeng community have been a paragon of virtue. They’ve fought for this since 1830. Their king sent people to Kimberley and made them earn money on the Kimberley diamond mines in order to buy that property that they live in that’s so close to Sun City and all those other places.

Because the Lutheran Missionaries warned them in this world you must have ownership, you must have title to that. They didn’t realise that they were having title to the most valuable piece of real estate in the history of the world because it was underlain by this Aladdin’s cave of treasure of platinum.

But then when they got the dividends from that, they didn’t waste them. They have done the job, really, of the Rustenburg municipality by putting in all this infrastructure. They’ve even gone into joint venture, in addition to what they’ve put in in their 29 villages, with the municipality for roads and things like that.

So they have really been an example of being pro-taxpayer because they’re relieved the burden on us and the ratepayer. They’ve done what we should be doing. Now they’re saying don’t threaten the goose that has laid the golden eggs.

You are really behaving in a way that could damage this whole industry. So the call to South Africa is ‘wake up and behold!’ - this is almost biblical says Steve Phiri, lets sort this out, lets work together, lets join hands, lets act collectively and do what’s good for South Africa.

Gwala: 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

To subscribe email subscriptions@creamermedia.co.za or click here
To advertise email advertising@creamermedia.co.za or click here
 
Comment Guidelines (150 word limit)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Other SAFM
More
 
 
Latest News
Brenda Berlin
Platinum mining company Impala Platinum (Implats) has secured a court order against a US platinum recycler, from which it is claiming $201-million. Implats said on Wednesday that the order, issued by the US District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania,...
Andrew Hinkly
A potentially far-reaching step has been taken towards the viable roll-out of hydrogen refuelling infrastructure for platinum-using fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) with the launch of a system that allows hydrogen to be stored and transported in conventional fuel...
Johannesburg mayor Parks Tau
At least R14-billion in investments had seen the economic development of the City of Johannesburg, resulting in economic hubs that created jobs and further opportunities for the city’s citizens, mayor Parks Tau said on Wednesday. The city had begun redesigning the...
More
 
 
Recent Research Reports
Energy Roundup – May 2016 (PDF Report)
The May 2016 roundup covers activities across South Africa for April 2016 and includes details of the National Energy Regulator of South Africa’s proposal to introduce a coal benchmark cost as part of its final decision on Eskom’s multiyear price determination...
Automotive 2016: A review of South Africa's automotive sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Automotive 2016 Report provides an overview of South Africa’s automotive industry over the past 12 months. The report provides insight into local demand and production, vehicle imports and exports, investment and competitiveness in the sector, as well...
Energy Roundup – April 2016 (PDF Report)
The April 2016 roundup covers activities across South Africa for March 2016 and includes details of a North Gauteng High Court Judge’s dismissal of a court application to postpone the 9.4% electricity tariff increase, which the National Energy Regulator of South...
Electricity 2016: A review of South Africa's electricity sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Electricity 2016 report provides an overview of South Africa’s electricity sector, focusing on State-owned power utility Eskom and independent power producers, electricity planning, transmission, distribution and the theft thereof, besides other issues.
Energy Roundup – March 2016 (PDF Report)
The March 2016 roundup covers activities across South Africa for February 2016 and includes details of the Department of Energy’s plans to announce the preferred bidders for the first tranche of the coal independent power producer procurement programme; the Council...
Steel 2016: A review of South Africa's steel sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Steel 2016 Report examines South Africa’s steel industry over the past 12 months. The report provides insight into the global steel market and and particularly into South South Africa’s steel sector, including production and consumption, main...
 
 
 
 
 
This Week's Magazine
The two spent-fuel pools at Eskom’s 1 800 MW Koeberg nuclear power station, in the Western Cape, will be full by 2018, increasing the urgency on the State-owned utility to begin pursuing alternative storage options. Koeberg has, over the past 32 years, accumulated a...
South Africa lacks the skills necessary to implement the government’s plan to build 9.6 GWe of new nuclear energy capacity, warns nuclear-qualified Quality Strategies International CEO David Crawford. “Apart from the concern about the affordability of the programme,...
DOROS HADJIZENONOS The 700-series devices provide network security monitoring, app control, URL filtering, VPN security, antivirus, antispam, antibot, and advanced intrusion prevention and detection functionality
Cybersecurity multinational Check Point has released its latest 700-series cybersecurity systems for small businesses, which draw on its international threat intelligence to provide up-to-date cybersecurity, says Check Point South Africa country manager Doros...
Daimler Trucks and Buses Southern Africa (DTBSA) saw a marked slip in new-vehicle sales in 2015 compared with 2014, with sales dropping from 5 897 units to 5 300 units. The decline came as the South African new truck and bus market declined from 31 558 units in 2014...
Group of 20 (G-20) economies threatened to penalise havens that don’t share information on their banking clients after the leak of the Panama Papers provoked a global uproar over tax evasion. The G-20 will consider “defensive measures” against financial centers and...
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Alert Close
Embed Code Close
content
Research Reports Close
Research Reports are a product of the
Research Channel Africa. Reports can be bought individually or you can gain full access to all reports as part of a Research Channel Africa subscription.
Find Out More Buy Report
 
 
Close
Engineering News
Completely Re-Engineered
Experience it now. Click here
*website to launch in a few weeks
Subscribe Now for $149 Close
Subscribe Now for $149