-Mineral Resources Minister Gwede Mantashe says that South Afria is an attractive destination for mining investors
- He also expressed confidence that the mining sector could be turned around
- Several opposition MPs, however, were not convinced
Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy Gwede Mantashe says that South Africa is highly attractive to those looking to invest in the mining industry.
He made the comments during a joint sitting of the National Assembly on Tuesday to debate Cyril Ramaphosa's State of the Nation Address.
However, Mantashe's claim was met with laughter from several MPs.
Mantashe also said that a secure energy supply was the most important factor in a healthy mining sector, saying that load-shedding forces mines to operate at less than 70% of their full capacity.
This comes after a disappointing few years for the South African mining industry.
For long periods of time, South Africa was the number one gold producer in the world. Now it ranks 8th, beneath Indonesia and Australia, among others.
South Africa is also no longer the biggest diamond exporter on the continent, having lost that title to Botswana.
Nevertheless, Mantashe expressed confidence that the mining industry could be turned around. For example, he said there were several major mining projects in the works, which he claims will create thousands of jobs, according to fin24.
Not all opposition MPs were convinced, however. COPE's Mosiuoa Lekota, for one, said that the mining industry would not improve unless there was considerable investment from overseas.
He also blamed illegal mining for harming the sector in recent years, Briefly.co.za has gathered.
Enjoyed reading our story? Download BRIEFLY's news app on Google Play now and stay up-to-date with major South African news!