Modern, Growing, Successful Province

The Media Launch of the Gamsberg- Skorpion Integrated Project, Aggeneys

Address by The Premier of the Northern Cape, Mrs Sylvia Lucas, on the occasion of The Media Launch of the Gamsberg- Skorpion Integrated Project, Aggeneys

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18 November 2014

Programme Director
Deputy Minister of Mineral Resources, Mr. Godfrey Oliphant
Members of Executive Council of the Northern Cape Provincial Government
CEO, Mr. Kishore Kumar and Members of the Management Team of Zinc International
Mayors and Councillors
Members of the Community
Government Officials
Distinguished Guests
Members of the Media
Ladies and Gentlemen

Let me share my sincere appreciation for allowing me to share a few words at this historical announcement. At the same time I would also like to welcome everyone present, especially those from outside the Province, to this vast, beautiful and resource-laden Northern Cape Province. I am certain that you join with us in sharing our excitement and joy at this wonderful initiative.

The Northern Cape is a Province that has enormous potential for investment opportunities. What is critical to such few people living in such an enormous land space is the ability of the people of the Province, all levels of Government and investors to strive together to usher in lasting prosperity for the Province and the country.

The promotion of economic growth and social development lies at the core of our ANC-led government’s responsibility to provide a better life for all. The announcement of the development of the open pit zinc mine here at Gamsberg is an initiative that will assist Government in achieving just that.

By improving the lives of all the citizens, they are able to exercise their democratically earned freedoms and use their talents to help our society flourish. This year marks 20 years since the attainment of our democracy and there has been concerted efforts from the side of Government on effective delivery of services.

This has not been without challenges especially since we had to address a number of service delivery backlogs in many disadvantaged communities. As Government we have prioritised social and economic development for the poorest members of communities, creating the necessary capacity, systems and structures for effective government as well as participatory governance. Other sectors of our economy have also undergone rapid changes and growths. This holds true also for the mining industry which has undergone great evolution amidst challenges, especially in the Northern Cape.

This initiative that is being launched today will further unlock our Province’s mining sector potential and is aligned with our economic transformation and development goals.

With the intention to contribute to the economic upliftment of the people of Aggeneys and surrounding areas, we are mindful that one of the most important challenges for the Northern Cape is its historically very inequitable economic structure where relatively few people own most of the economic assets.  It is our strong desire as the Northern Cape Provincial Government to lessen this inequality.  We want to feel and see job opportunities, real incomes and acceptable standards of living.

It is also envisaged that the Gamsberg-Skorpion Integrated Project will also enhance the economic competiveness of the Province and will also play a critical role in poverty alleviation and job creation.  The National Development Plan, which is the blueprint of Government, expects that the biggest contributor to new jobs will be small and medium sized business.

To this end therefore, the Northern Cape Provincial Government together with the Northern Cape Mining Association has signed a Mining Procurement Charter. The aim of this Charter is to radically alter the way in which mining houses procure goods and services in the Province.

The expectation is that to a large extent mining houses will procure goods and services from within the Province and in so doing make a positive contribution to the Provincial economy as a whole. The result being an increase in domestic production and the creation of decent jobs by ensuring that the mining industry supports small enterprises, co-operatives and broad-based Black empowerment.

The importance of the Mining sector in this Province cannot be underplayed. Together with the mining industry we have the ability to champion transformation in our country and have greater inclusion of disadvantaged groups in the mainstream economy.

I am greatly pleased by commitments already made by the lead company in enhancing the living conditions and improving the society in general. My plea is just that you will also make a valuable contribution in developing skilled labour in this area and in the Province.

I am of the firm view that the relationship between the Mining Quality Authority Seta, the Department of Mineral Resources, FET Colleges and Tertiary institutions should be strengthened so as to make a meaningful contribution to the Human Resource Development. As the Provincial Government together with our stakeholders and investors we are certain that we will succeed to move this country forward and inspire confidence for continued development.

The mining industry has been and remains a critical sector in our economy. The need for a harmonious coexistence of mining and prosperous communities can therefore not be overstated.

Today marks the beginning of an auspicious moment once again in the history of our Province and our country. With this ground breaking initiative, Zinc International has set itself firmly as the leading captain in this industry. As the Provincial Government and the people of the Northern Cape we stand firmly behind this great venture. Our wish is that success and prosperity will be your companion as you strive to bring real change and hope to the Province of the Northern Cape.

I thank you

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