The undeniable importance of the mining industry in the SA economy is as relevant today as during the many decades of its intricate history. Although some might wonder about this after the tragedy that struck at Marikana in late 2012, the industry has recovered from one of the lowest points in its existence. With the benefit of having learnt valuable lessons about a unique blend of a range of expectations, akin only to the SA industry and closely related to our history, mining is now ideally poised to forge ahead to reinvent itself.

The brokenness of just over a year ago that reverberated across the world is being turned around in a way that enables us to look ahead to a leaner and wiser, yet formidable sector. Its reputation globally as a significant force remains intact.

In addition, the critical role of the JSE in facilitating capital flows for the growth of the industry is no less significant today than before. We firmly believe mining fulfils an important function in much needed job preservation and creation in SA and that it will continue to do so in future.

The globalisation of capital as well as the increasingly global nature of business has broadened the listing options available to companies. It has been noted that companies are attracted to listing destinations offering strong regulatory environments, high quality institutional investors and the participation of foreign investors.

With such strong global competition for quality companies, it is gratifying when companies decide to list on the JSE. In 2013 we saw one of the major global mining companies choose the JSE as an ideal destination for their secondary listing – an indication of the confidence in our mining sector as well as the country.

We are excited about the JSE’s role as a key player in bringing about growth in our mining sector and to help it become a prime investment destination

Moreover, according to the WEF, SA is ranked second in terms of raising finance through the local equity market. On average, daily foreign trading activity on the JSE is between 15% and 25% of daily trade. Thus the JSE offers international investors access to South African as well as African assets.

Furthermore, the JSE continues to profile listed companies to an audience of high net worth individuals interested in the resources sector. This initiative affords companies an opportunity to attract local retail investors. That the SA mining sector has firmly positioned itself to compete successfully with the best in the world becomes clear in the words of Susan Shabangu, Minister of Mineral Resources. Late last year she said government would ensure the sector continued to play a key role in the local economy.

Government’s high-level intervention in the sector in 2013 to stabilise the labour front was confirmation of the significance of mining in the country’s economy. Pointing to the decision by Glencore Xstrata late last year to list on the JSE, Shabangu said it clearly demonstrated confidence in the country, its mining laws and the positive investment climate. ‘We anticipate that it would mark the beginning of more quality inward listings,’ she said.

Looking ahead, we are excited about the JSE’s role as a key player in bringing about growth in our mining sector and to help it become a prime investment destination yet again for committed as well as visionary investors who seek to grow their investments.

The JSE is also exploring the possibilities of further streamlining and improving the listing process. The aim is to ensure quicker turnaround times, which in turn will help it meet the needs of companies.

Mpho Ledwaba
Head: Marketing and Business Development, JSE

January 2014
Image: Hanlie Huiseman