South Africa keen to move ahead with plans to unlock 'northern mineral belt'
13 April 2012
Creamer Media's Engineering News - 13 April 2012
JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – Plans for unlocking South Africa's coal- and platinum-rich northern mineral belt through transport, water and energy interventions, were deliberated upon on Friday by officials representing all three spheres of government.
The officials convened in Gauteng under the aegis of the newly formed Presidential Infrastructure Coordinating Commission (PICC) and were addressed by Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe.
The northern mineral belt centred on Limpopo and Mpumalanga, but Motlanthe said its development would also have strong linkages with the North West and multiplier effects in most of the other six provinces.
The PICC dialogue took place in the same week that Transnet unveiled its R300-billion, seven-year investment programme, which included plans to unlock the Waterberg coalfields, in Limpopo province. In addition, Eskom's R120-billion Medupi coal-fired power station is also under development in the region.
The Northern Mineral Belt project was one of 17 strategic integrated projects, or Sips, prioritised for development by the PICC, which was established last year to oversee the creation and implementation of a 20-year infrastructure roll-out, which would involve investments running to trillions of rands.