Indaba digs for solutions for the mining sector


Some of the keynote speakers attending this year’s Indaba are former British Premier Tony Blair, Mining and Mineral Resources minister Ngoako Ramatlhodi and several mining executives.

(READ MORERamatlhodi to crackdown on S.African unions)

Henre’ Rossouw, head of commodities for frontier and emerging markets at Investec Asset Management said, the conference was taking place against the background of tough trading conditions in the commodities space.

“Everyone was surprised by the oil price shock and iron ore has been one of the commodities that people have been avoiding [in the recent past],” said Rossouw.

“There are some serious issues to be addressed at this Indaba such as the role of labour, government policy and we will also see the increased involvement by shareholders.”  

Rossouw said this year’s conference was well representative as there were dealers, private equity, suppliers’, diggers and also bankers.

There are delegations from a number of African countries attending the showpiece and are expected to compare notes on policy direction around taxation.

“There are lot of discussions going on here, as you know South Africa is a hub of investment so all these investors are here to discuss the mining landscape. This competitive tension between countries is good for investment,” added Rossouw.

He also urged governments to make decisions based on what is good for their respective countries and also ensure investor certainty.

(READ MORE: Zambia’s Lungu approves power price rise for mining firms)

On the future prospects of the commodities’ sector, Rossouw said his fund was still cautious as he believed the market has not turned yet.

“In the next six months to a year, I expect we will see the bottom. For us the preference is in the investments where we have a safe balance sheet that continues to generate cash and pay dividend.”

He says investors were too cautious for saying it was not the time to be bullish.