Minerals Council urges South African government to address ‘economic crisis’

South Africa’s mining industry body has made a statement urging President Cyril Ramaphosa’s government to take a number of critical steps needed to address the country’s ‘economic crisis’.

The Minerals Council South Africa said it believes that insecurity of power supply is at the heart of South Africa’s economic malaise, with struggling state-owned utility Eskom forced to routinely implement power cuts across the country over the last 12 months.

Ahead of the annual Business Economic Indaba in Johannesburg this week, the Minerals Council called for the government to bring on stream new private sector power sources to ease the supply crisis that has damaged businesses across all sectors, including the mining industry.

Last month, mines across South Africa shut down after flash flooding triggered the most severe power blackouts in more than a decade, threatening a sector which contributed around R351 billion to the South African economy in 2018 – equating to 7% of total GDP.

“Eskom requires urgent reforms and restructuring to materially improve maintenance, improve plant reliability and to get costs under control,” the Minerals Council said.