Pretoria — A mining road show to inform investors that South Africa is open for investment has been a success, Mining Minister Susan Shabangu said on Tuesday.
The minister embarked on an international road show targeting investors in Toronto, Canada; New York as well as Boston in the United States. She was accompanied by representatives from the Chamber of Mines led by Dr Xolani Mkhwanazi; the National Union of Mineworkers led by its president Senzeni Zokwana and the South African Mining Development Association headed by Aubrey Lekwane.
"Our intention was to inform the investor community that our country is open for business. The engagements were robust and at times heated but we believe that we represented the country well," the minister said.
"It is because of the working together of government, labour and business that South Africa has not seen an industry-wide strike action in a decade," Zokwana told investors in Boston who were against unionisation.
Further, Zokwana informed the audience that "unions can choose to be only about wages, but the situation in South Africa is different. Unions have played a positive role in the mining industry, engaging with all players in the world to ensure that mining can be an instrument to lift people out of poverty and change the fortunes of the countries."
Meanwhile, CEO of the Chamber of Mines, Bheki Sibiya, reiterated the importance of a solid working relationship, saying even though the chamber worked closely with government, the engagement remains robust.
"For example, we support the state-owned mining company on the basis of the assurance that it will be operating without preferential treatment. To this end, the minister has made assurances going to the extent of repealing the exemptions that, we believed, would give the company unfair advantage," said Sibiya.
The state owned company, the African Mining Exploration and Finance Company, was recently opened by President Jacob Zuma in Mpumalanga.
"The message that South Africa remains an attractive investment destination seems to have been well-received by investors, who questioned the delegation at large on nationalisation, infrastructure development, the state-owned mining company, unionisation and the regulatory framework," said the department.