In line with the recent accolade of being recognised as the 2012 Mining Law Firm of the Year by the global Who’s Who Legal Awards and demonstrating its thought leadership approach, Norton Rose South Africa recently hosted a breakfast meeting with Minister in the South African Presidency: National Planning, Mr Trevor Manuel, to unpack the National Development Plan that is currently being finalised by the National Planning Commission. The discussion also addressed the potential contribution that investment in the mineral and energy sectors can make in regard to infrastructure and human capacity development in South Africa.
The Minister outlined, for more than 40 of Norton Rose South Africa’s key mining and corporate finance clients, many of the perspectives contained in the soon to be finalised National Development Plan (NDP) and emphasised the critical role that the mining and energy sectors, amongst other critical stakeholders can play in achieving development goals
With a wealth of still untapped mineral resources, particularly base metals and coal, South African mining and energy sectors are ideally placed to provide the much-needed funds to help develop and sustain human capacity and infrastructure developments. Minister Manuel emphasised however, that this should not happen at a cost to the environment or compromise safety regulations.
What the Minister also indicated as important are the positive downstream effects that mining can have on development. By taking a holistic view in a macro sense, rather than focusing just on profits, the mining industry can promote itself as both a profitable and responsible player in a myriad of upliftment programmes of the nation, inclusive of health and employment capabilities.
The Minister also made it abundantly clear that the National Planning Commission encourages engagement with the private sector, in particular the mining industry, in an effort to open channels of communication for identifying and solving major issues while continuing to advance the NDP’s Vision 2030 programme.
One such problem that Minister Manuel addressed is that of shale gas fracking, emphatically stressing that while he embraces the benefits of energy independence and carbon mitigation, he is not ignoring the environmental problems that are of concern. Case studies of other nations that have sound regulatory regimes in this regard, will be thoroughly examined and learnings applied.
Rob Otty, Managing Director at Norton Rose South Africa commented that Africa’s growth in a climate of economic instability has made it particularly attractive as the next frontier for commodity led growth and development.
“Such circumstances have put Norton Rose in a unique position, given the Group’s presence throughout the world in 43 countries, to leverage off its vast global expertise with international clients wanting to identify and commit to sound investment deals in South Africa.
“By providing an opportunity for Minister Manuel to interact with our clients on the critical elements contained in the National Development Plan and the development goals of the country, we advance our 50-year South African pedigree in servicing the mining industry with expert advice that encourages investment in a profitable sector that embraces sustainable and no-harm practices,” concluded Otty.
For further information please contact:
Glyn Smith, communications specialist, Norton Rose South Africa
Tel +27 11 685 8826; Mob: +27 82 776 1152
Anusha Mudhai, communications assistant, Norton Rose South Africa
Tel: +27 11 685 8947; Mob: +27 84 911 2535