Ramaphosa addresses mining sector's worries over Eskom and land grabs

05 February 2019 - 17:00
By Allan Seccombe
President Cyril Ramaphosa addresses the mining indaba in Cape Town on Tuesday.
Image: AFP/RODGER BOSCH President Cyril Ramaphosa addresses the mining indaba in Cape Town on Tuesday.

President Cyril Ramaphosa has directly addressed key concerns of mining companies and investors in the sector around electricity prices and supply, as well as SA's land reform plans, BusinessLIVE reported.

As the first sitting South African president in 25 years to address the Investing in African Mining Indaba in Cape Town, Ramaphosa on Tuesday afternoon focused on the key concerns raised by the Minerals Council SA, mining executives and investors.

Ramaphosa is expected to outline the government's plans for Eskom, which is mired in debt and operational difficulties, when he delivers his second state of the nation address on Thursday evening.

Although giving no indication on Tuesday of what that plan would entail, he assured about 1,000 delegates at the indaba that the government was addressing Eskom's problems.

“Restoring energy security for the country is an absolute imperative. We are giving detailed attention to the crisis and challenges that our electricity company, Eskom, faces,” he said, adding that the parastatal was too large and important to be allowed to fail.

Turning to the government's intended land reform programme, which is likely to entail expropriation without compensation — which has raised deep concerns among investors — Ramaphosa said the goal was to foster economic growth.

"Investors must not be scared that their investments and assets will be taken away from them," he said.

"Our approach to this matter will enhance rather than undermine property rights."