Allafrica.com reports that the government has pledged its full support to South African mining. Speaking at the recent inaugural mining lekgotla in Midrand, the Department of Mineral Resources' acting director-general, Joel Raphela, said that South Africa owes its industrialisation and economic diversification to the mining sector.
A major breakthrough in tackling challenges like the shortage of skills and vital infrastructure, he said, was the announcement of a multi-year infrastructural programme by President Jacob Zuma in his 2012 State of the Nation address.
As a result, state agencies such as Eskom and Transnet have undertaken to alleviate the constraints on the industry. "I am convinced that [...] over the next year or two, South African mining is destined to regain its competitiveness," Raphela said. According to Allafrica.com, the two-day lekgotla brought together over 1 000 representatives of government, industry and labour to discuss ways to improve the global competitiveness SA's mining industry and its contribution to the country's economy.
"We have already seen improvements in respect of the 2011 Fraser Institute mineral competitive index," Raphela noted. The index "ranked South Africa 54 out of 93 countries, a 13 place improvement compared with 2010."
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