JSE-listed diversified mining company Exxaro officially announced its commitment of R20-billion towards President Cyril Ramaphosa’s investment drive for South Africa at the 2019 South African Investment Conference, which took place in Johannesburg, last month.
During last year’s conference, about 1 500 delegates from South Africa and elsewhere gathered to discuss investment opportunities in Africa’s most diversified economy. Several local and international businesses pledged investments in the country, amounting to about R290-billion.
Three of these investment pledges came from the mining sector, giving credence to mining in South Africa being a sunrise industry.
Exxaro’s R20-billion pledge at this year’s conference is geared towards the development of its thermal coal mining operations and renewable-energy investment in Limpopo, Mpumalanga and the Eastern Cape.
To date, Exxaro has spent R11-billion on several brownfield and greenfield mining projects. This comprises R3.3-billion towards its Belfast coal mine – the first-of-its-kind digital and connected mine in South Africa – and R5.3-billion towards expanding thermal coal export volumes at the company’s flagship operation in the Waterberg region of Limpopo.
Social impact is a primary focus for Exxaro with about 10 000 direct and indirect employment opportunities having been created, and about R200-million allocated to enterprise and supplier development of black-, black women- and black youth-owned businesses that have created additional employment opportunities in their local communities.
Additionally, the company delivers benefits through community infrastructure development, in partnership with local government, to the value of about R500-million.
“I’m pleased to confirm that we are on target to fully spend the remaining R9-billion balance of the R20-billion up to 2023 to complete our projects,” Exxaro CEO Mxolisi Mgojo told delegates at the conference.
He added that this expenditure outlook included Exxaro’s contribution to building the path to a just energy transition. This is made possible through the company’s intended investment of R1.6-billion to acquire the 50% interest in wind farm operations of its joint venture partner in the Eastern Cape.
“We remain driven as a South African company to realise Ramaphosa’s vision and participate in the collective effort of all gathered here to achieve the country’s mission of inclusive growth.”
Ahead of the conference, Mgojo emphasised that private-sector involvement entails not only money but also the skills and competences that it could add to sustainable development.
Mgojo believes this can fast-track innovation, eliminate inefficiencies, scale rapidly and provide sustainable interventions. “These capabilities make the private sector a critical partner in solving developmental challenges and creating economic opportunities.”