“This R20 billion investment in the diamond industry, the biggest single investment in the diamond industry in decades, signals that indeed our mining sector is poised for growth, and that it has a bright future,” he said in a speech prepared for delivery.
“The investment will no doubt boost diamond production, from which the country has lost its eminence in recent years.”
He was speaking at the launch of the construction phase of the De Beers Venetia underground diamond mine in Musina, Limpopo.
He said the investment would boost diamond production and showed the country was an investment destination of choice.
“Working together, we have to ensure that our mining sector grows even further. We must therefore provide the right environment for growth. This includes the implementation of transformation measures and also to promote labour market stability in the sector,” said Zuma.
The president took the opportunity to condemn the violence in the North West’s mining industry.
He mentioned the National Union of Mineworkers branch leader who was killed at Marikana, near Rustenburg, last week.
“Such incidents have no place in a democratic society like ours.”
Zuma said the shooting at Marikana last year, when police killed 34 people, almost all of them striking mineworkers, and wounded 70, reminded the country that work needed to be done to improve the lives of mineworkers and surrounding communities. Transformation in the sector also needed to be accelerated.
“Accordingly, the implementation of the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act, the social and labour plan mechanisms and the Mining Charter remain immensely important to ensure the growth and sustainability,” he said.
“Fortunately, investors in the mining industry are aware that they should, in terms of the law, redress past imbalances in the industry.”
South Africa’s legislation required that investors commit to the Mining Charter and the social and labour plan and sound environmental management.