The AMCU strike at three of South Africa’s top platinum producers is likely to dominate the debate at the Mining Indaba from 3 to 6 February in Cape Town.
The strike action comes as the South African mining industry faces increasing pressure due to declining productivity and the continued devaluation of the rand.
“These strikes are a clear indicator that there is a need for improved dialogue in the industry,” says Wayne Jansen, KPMG’s Global Head of Mining.
“A successful mining industry in South Africa is in the interest of all stakeholders that are directly and indirectly linked to it.
“Yet the industry finds itself in a difficult time, with a future that has perhaps never before been so uncertain,” says Jansen.
“Charting a new path for the sector will not simply happen on its own,” warns Jansen. “It requires a collaborative effort among all stakeholders, bound together by a common purpose.”
KPMG will bring together key stakeholders at a special session at the Mining Indaba on Tuesday 4 February 2014.
The session titled, ‘Collaborating towards a shared vision for change’, aims to develop a framework of understanding between stakeholders to mutually find practical solutions that address some of the impediments to the growth of the industry.
Outlining some of the issues to be discussed at the session, Jansen says that the last super cycle, historically a period of high economic growth which lasted a generation, which began in the 1990s, ended in 2008.
However, the beginning of economic recovery in developed nations menas the potential start of the next growth super cycle.
“Africa did not derive sufficient benefit from the last super cycle,” explains Jansen. “As a continent, we are now better placed to take advantage of the renewed growth in the global economy.
“However, we must overcome some major stumbling blocks, particularly in the mining industry. Now is the time to ensure that the building blocks are in place.”
Firstly, there is a strong need to shape an African development plan for mining, says Jansen. This will require collaboration between stakeholders not only within countries but also across borders.
“Secondly, we must continue to position the continent as an attractive destination for investment.”
KPMG has identified a number of areas of focus that have the potential to unlock the value of mining on the African continent.
These will be discussed at a special Ministerial workshop, and will include exploration, infrastructure, innovation, regulation and incentives, as well as skills development.