Mineral Resources Minister, Gwede Mantashe, on Friday urged the coal mining sector to continue investing in clean-coal technology in order to mitigate the effects of climate change.
Mantashe was speaking at the official opening of one of the largest underground coal complexes in the world, Sasol’s Impumelelo Colliery near Secunda in Mpumalanga.
This is the fifth mine to be opened in the past 12 months, which Mantashe said was an indication of South Africa’s attractiveness as an investment destination of choice, and the conducive policy and regulatory environment for the sector to do business.
“We welcome this investment by Sasol. In an economy where unemployment is so high, these new mines are making a positive impact on job creation,” Mantashe said.
“We have an economy to grow, and therefore as Government, we will continue to prioritise the creation of a stable environment for this economic growth to happen.”
The opening of the mine, which employs about 1 700 workers, follows the completion of Phase 2 of Sasol’s R5.53-billion investment in the project.
Mantashe further urged mining companies to prioritise coexistence with communities and development around mining towns, for the long-term sustainability of mining.
He said that coal continues to form a key part of South Africa’s energy mix, in line with the country’s Integrated Resource Plan.