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Economic & Financial Governance

25-Feb-2014

Historically, the competitive advantage of South Africa’s mining industry was in its access to low cost utilities and lower wages in the sector. Rising demand for residential housing, competitive bidding by labour unions in an environment of falling productivity, and a commodity cycle characterized by a fall in metals prices are shaving mining company margins. Over the period 2010-2013, gold, platinum and palladium production has fallen 17.5 percent, 16 percent and 6 percent, respectively. Gold and platinum production are projected to fall further in 2014 taking the tally over the period 2010-2014 to 18.9 percent and 18.1 percent respectively (fig 1A). Average mining industry value added grew at an anaemic rate of 0.8 percent over the period 2009-2013, while its share of GDP stagnated at 9 percent (fig 1B).

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