Ramaphosa to address policy uncertainty
Yesterday the 27th Investing in Mining Indaba was held virtually. President Cyril Ramaphosa told delegates, including mining industry investors, executives and experts, that the South African government is committed to addressing policy uncertainty in order to meet South Africa’s developmental plans. Ramaphosa addressed 6000 delegates, stating that South Africa should adapt to the realities of the Covid-19 era, protect the livelihoods of citizens, attract higher levels of investment, and provide greater policy certainty.
Rampahosa said that the key to accelerated industrialisation, innovation, job creation, and competition, was a mining industry that focussed on long term sustainability. “To ensure we increase the contribution of both mining and energy to meeting our developmental aspirations, we have taken significant steps to resolve policy and regulatory issues that investors have identified previously and raised with us as constraints to greater investment,” Ramaphosa said.
In South Africa the mining industry employs about 451 000 people, and accounts for 8.1 of GDP. Ramaphosa further stated that the industry must strive for transformation, competitiveness, and long term sustainability in all areas.
“Mining companies should foster an inclusive approach to all aspects of mining, from ownership to participation in management and also to procurement. There should be greater inclusion of women and women-owned businesses in all these areas,” said Ramaphosa.
South African businesses to support vaccine rollout
South Africa’s business sector has come out in support of the government’s multibillion-rand programme to fund the acquisition of life-saving Covid-19 vaccines. Business for South Africa (B4SA) said they believed the entire programme would cost approximately R12bn, but the Department of Health believes the programme could cost as much as R20bn.
Numerous options have been flouted with regard to the payment for vaccines. Some of these include raising taxes, using medical schemes, and National Treasury budget allocations. B4SA co-ordination of costing and funding workstream member Ronald Whelan said the financing of the vaccine would be a combination of both the private and public sector as central funding and procurement would be done through Treasury. “Though these details are being finalised, it looks like this is how procurement will work,” Whelan said.
Covax facility yesterday published its first interim distribution forecast of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine and the AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine in the first half 2021. The forecast showed that South Africa would get 3.1 million vaccine doses under the Covax programme by the end of March, with 117 000 doses from Pfizer and the rest from AstraZeneca.