Editor's letter

Spring in the step

Greg 2.jpg

After all the doom and gloom over the last six months it was heartening to see better than expected figures for mining in South Africa in mid September, propping up the rand for a change – very good indeed.

The media must take some blame for the way mining is portrayed in this county. The rand going a three day hot streak and positive mining and manufacturing results get a small sidebar on the front page of the newspaper.

Then you get one small negative story which is blown out of proportion. Why? Well the answer is simple, bad news sells, and South Africa hates a winner.  I really do think the South African economy is near blossoming at the moment and nobody knows it. I’m seeing more luxury cars than ever before with people of all colours driving them. There are trucks for Africa on our busy highways which means trade is certainly happening; the cornerstone of any economy.

Our manufacturing base is still growing, with more and more companies setting up plants in South Africa, especially on the truck manufacturing front. For any multinational company wanting to play in the global arena you really do need a presence in sub-Saharan Africa, with South Africa being the proverbial gateway. There is no reason why this should change.

Western media often tries to downplay the African economic renaissance, with destabilisation a common theme. In truth, some western countries are rather jealous of our natural resources, partners and proximity to flourishing trade routes.

Modern mining in South Africa is undoubtedly in flux, rather like a teenager going through puberty, trying to make sense of it all. Mechanisation and job loses seem inevitable. But if this process is not handled properly, with alternative training provided for other avenues of employment, it will hold the country back from all that it deserves.

 

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