Addressing supporters at the ANC’s 105 birthday celebrations, President Jacob Zuma said the party was encouraged by the recent rise in commodity prices and was relatively confident that the South African mining sector would begin to show an improvement in the near future.
“The ANC expects to see an increase in production and growth in job creation. We shall remain vigilant in ensuring that mining communities benefit from mining activities in their areas. The ANC proposes that all stakeholders engage on how to utilise beneficiation more effectively to ensure economic growth and job creation,” said Zuma.
He noted in his speech that South Africa’s economy had created jobs and made rapid strides in eradicating poverty, joblessness, and inequality when it was growing at an average of nearly 4% prior to the 2008 global crisis. But the global economic recovery had been “very unstable” since then.
“Consequently, as we are connected into the global economic system, we have been impacted negatively. Investment by the private sector is, particularly in the developing countries, low. Trade between countries has fallen. Growth in sub-Saharan Africa is estimated to have slowed to 1.4% in 2016 from 3.4% in 2015. The ANC is optimistic that the 2017 growth forecast of 2.9% will be achieved.”
Speaking at the stadium, Zuma stressed that the ANC led government would continue reviewing the Mining Charter, and issued a stern warning to mining companies to abide by the rules of their licenses, and improve the living conditions of mine-workers or face consequences for failing to adhere to the Mining Charter.
This follows an earlier statement issued by the presidency in early December 2016, where Zuma broke his silence on the Marikana massacre, and listed the steps taken by government departments to implement the Farlam Commission of Inquiry’s recommendations.
In the statement he threatened Lonmin Mine’s mining license for its failure to build houses for workers.
Zuma concluded his speech at Orlando by affirming that the ANC government would continue to revitalise mining communities to improve the lives of the people.