AFRICANGLOBE – South Africa’s Minister of Trade and Industry, Dr Rob Davies has reiterated that minerals beneficiation is important element for the industrialisation of South Africa and the African continent. Davies was speaking at the Sanlam function that was held in Bellville, outside Cape Town.
The Minister said that beneficiation will ensure that more value was added to domestic mineral products before exporting them.
‘Ladies and gentlemen, what we need to address is how we can use the minerals of our country as a tool of development and the only way to achieve this is through beneficiation. Beneficiation will create more jobs and promote industrialisation’, he said.
Earlier Minister Davies said South Africa and Nigeria would play a critical role in building the value-added production capacity of the African continent.
“The next phase of development in Africa is industrialisation which will be characterised by value-added production and for that we need to build industries in the continent. Nigeria and South Africa are committed to ensuring that this phase of industrialisation does get the required boost by working together to achieve regional integration in the continent,” said Davies.
He also stated that the DTI is counting on the Japanese assistance in two potential Special Economic Zones (SEZs) based in the platinum sector. He said his department had asked for a Japanese technical expert in SEZs specialising in mineral beneficiation to be deployed to South Africa.
Davies told the meeting that stronger regional markets are also important for the industrialisation of Africa. He said in order to achieve this; there is a need to fastrack the negotiations on the tripartite Free Trade Area (T-FTA).
“These negotiations are aimed at creating large regional markets across the eastern part of the continent. T-FTA will strengthen economic growth and development prospects in Africa. The project encompasses 26 countries; combined Gross Domestic Product approaching US$1 trillion; and population of almost 600 million. We must build stronger regional markets for industrial development. That is important for SA and also for important for the African continent’, added the Minister.
Minister Davies concluded by saying that development of new exports markets, particularly for value added production is also essential for the industrialisation of the African continent.