Noluthando Primrose Gosa, Member of the Advisory Board, Mining Indaba
John Welborn, CEO, Resolute Mining
Mark Bristow, President & CEO, Barrick Gold
S. Vijay Iyer, VP & COO, Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA)
Srinivasan (Venkat) Venkatakrishnan, Group CEO, Vedanta Resources
Bold Bataar, CEO, Energy and Minerals, Rio Tinto
Caroline Donally, MD, Denham Capital
Ladies and gentlemen
Let me take this opportunity to welcome you all to our beautiful country as we host yet another edition of the Mining Indaba. This gathering brings together important industry players from across the globe and has become a notable feature in the annual mining calendar.
I am certain that many of you are returnees and I would like to reiterate the welcome already extended to you by my cabinet colleague, Minister Gwede Mantashe yesterday. To those who are here for the first time, welcome to our shores and the beautiful City of Cape Town.
As you engage on the complex issues on your agenda, I am certain that you will appreciate the importance of mining for the African continent.
Speaking at the Anglo American’s end-of-year media event in November last year, Anglo American Chief Executive, Mark Cutifani, reflected on the importance of mining in South Africa and said: “Mining matters. It matters to the 58 million South Africans who benefit from the rich endowment this country has been blessed with – enabling the direct employment of half a million people and a further 4,5 million indirectly.”
With increased cooperation amongst stakeholders in the mining sector,I am confident that the benefits of which Mr Cutifani spoke about can be expanded to accrue to more South Africans.
It is not possible to speak about the growth of the African Gross Domestic Product at the exclusion of role played by mining. The sector plays an important role as one of the key drivers of the creation of new wealth. Our countries are therefore naturally interested in the development of the sector for the benefit of the peoples of the continent.
The theme for this year’s Indaba: “Optimising Growth and Investment in the Digitised Mining Economy”, is an acknowledgement that the rapid changes that are taking place in the technology space are beginning to have a transformative effect in the mining sector.
Technological changes and the demands for the world to respond to the climate change challenge have necessitated a transition to a low carbon economy whose achievement the human species now depends for its survival. Not only do we have to strive to create sustainable businesses, we also need to create sustainable communities in a sustainable environment.
Ladies and gentlemen,
Mining and tourism have been recognised for their positive roles in alleviating poverty by providing jobs and income to local communities. However, mining is often seen as a major threat to tourism especially where biodiversity is concerned. It is for this reason that the tourism and mining sectors ought to work together to developing trust, partnerships and a joint vision for the greater benefit of communities. Both industries are largely private sector driven. However, government has an interest in the success and sustainability of both sectors.
Mining has an old history in South Africa which dates as far back as the 1800s that saw the start of South Africa’s gold rush that changed the course of the country’s history and heritage forever. Today, we have made it possible for visitors in Johannesburg to follow in the footsteps of the earliest gold miners as they trakked the gold-rich veins of South Africa, by experiencing one of Johannesburg’s gold mine tours. Old mines have been turned into tourist attractions. I would like to invite all of you to visit and walk on the footsteps of the pioneers of your industry in our country.
Similarly, the Big Hole in Kimberly, in Northern Cape, has been converted into a museum and tourist attraction. Visitors can go underground in a recreation of a mine shaft of the period and learn about the history of diamond mining in Kimberley. This is just a demonstration of one of the ways in which the two sectors can work together for development.
Ladies and gentlemen,
As Minister of Tourism and the one of the salespeople after the President, it would be remiss of me if I didn’t tell you that no human being is born to labour without rest.
South Africa has a variety of beautiful attractions in which after you have completed your hard work in this Indaba, you can take a day or two of tranquillity and refreshment before you head back to your countries of origin. We have wonderful beaches and lush wine lands here in the Western Cape, we have iconic landscapes such the Table Mountain and Drakensberg Mountains, unspoiled wilderness and safaris, ten World Heritage Sites - one of which is the Cradle of Humankind renowned as the place where humankind originated and friendly rainbow of cultures.
South Africa provides the corporate visitor with venues and facilities of the highest international standard - for corporate incentive trips, international events and exhibitions. For the corporate market, venues range from intimate bush hideaways to hotels and resorts for smaller conferences – or for larger events such as the indaba, world-class convention centres are available in almost all the provinces in South Africa.
I would also like to urge you to stay a day or more and enjoy the warm South African hospitality.
Once again I would like to welcome you to the 2020 Mining Indaba. I wish you successful deliberations during your meetings and I look forward to the positive outcomes of this Indaba.
I thank you.