Cyril Ramaphosa facilitates mining, energy and land concerns


President Cyril Ramaphosa addressed directly the main concerns held by the mining companies and investors in the sector around the prices and supply of electricity, as well as SA's agrarian reform plans.

As the first South African president to address the 25-year investment in Africa Mining Indaba in Cape Town, Ramaphosa hit the main points of concern raised by Minerals Council SA, mining executives and investors, on Tuesday afternoon .

Ramaphosa is expected to describe the government's plans for Eskom, which is mired in debt and operational difficulties, as it makes its second state of the nation address on Thursday night.

He gave no indication on Tuesday of what the plan would entail, but told about 1,000 full delegates at a site in Indaba that the government was fully aware of how critical Eskom's problems were, and that they were being addressed.

"Restoring energy security for the country is an absolute imperative," Ramaphosa said.

"We are giving detailed attention to the crisis and the challenges that our electricity company, Eskom, faces," he said, adding that the parastatal was too large and important to fail.

Eskom executives said the company reported a net loss of 20 billion rupees for the fiscal year to the end of March, well above the $ 11 billion expected by the market. It carries debt of $ 419 billion that it can not meet.

"Take it easy, let's approach this," Ramaphosa said. "In the coming days, we will announce practical steps to stabilize Eskom's operational, financial and structural issues to ensure the supply of electricity," he said.

Going back to the government's planned agrarian reform program, which is likely to involve land expropriation without compensation – a scheme that aroused deep concern among investors – Ramaphosa said the idea was to promote economic growth through the plan.

"Investors should not be afraid of their investments and assets will be taken away from them," he said. "Our approach to this issue will increase, rather than undermine, property rights," he said.

He highlighted the mining companies that presented themselves and offered parts of their properties for housing, agriculture and commercial development.

While not naming one of the leading companies that did it, it is understood that Anglo American Platinum, the largest metal source in the world, was at the forefront of land donation.

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