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VENTURES AFRICA – Transformation in South Africa’s mining sector and the development of shale gas and oil exploration in the country came under the spotlight at the Mining Indaba 2014 on Tuesday.
Susan Shabangu, the minister of mineral resources in South Africa, addressing delegates at the Mining Indaba 2014, disclosed the South African government’s plans around these issues.
She said transformation in the country’s mining sector and the economy remained at the centre of development in South Africa.
And she cautioned the delegates at the Mining Indaba, which is held in Cape Town, not to think that transformation is an event but to consider it as a journey.
After the 1994 all-race elections, the ANC-led government introduced the policy of transformation in South Africa, which was aimed at redressing decades of intentional exclusion of black people from the mainstream economy.
“I have established that some of the companies have designed interim transformation solutions that end this year, with the expectation that 2014 would be the end of transformation,” Shabangu told mining delegates from all over the world.
“Nothing could be further from the truth – in fact, transformation remains an imperative of government and must be seen as business imperative in the South African context,” she continued, adding there could be no growth in the mining sector without this policy.
Additionally, Shabangu said about 485 trillion cubic feet of shale gas was stuck in the belly of the earth in the Karoo, the vast flat and dry tracts of land located between the Western and Eastern Cape Provinces in South Africa.
“We have published the Technical Regulations for the development of shale gas for public comments and the final regulations will be released shortly,” she said.
“We are also nurturing the development of our nascent offshore oil and gas prospects,” she said.
She said the international companies that were interested in these discoveries were welcome.
However, she reiterated the fact that South Africans should have a fair share from the development of their natural resources.