The government has hailed beneficiation as a key to job creation, GDP growth, development of the South African economy and maximisation of the return on investment. There is misalignment between the imperative to beneficiate and the affordable and sufficient supply of electricity to the mining sector. Beneficiation cannot occur outside of a steady, affordable and sustainable supply of electricity. Eskom generates 95% of electricity consumed in SA, and though there has been a push for more independent power producers, a report by Deloitte in 2017 says these producers generate only 5% of electricity. The International Energy Agency recorded in 2006 that Eskom’s household and industrial electricity tariffs were among the lowest in the world. Deloitte says Eskom’s average electricity tariff has increased 147% since 2007. There are reasons for this significant increase in the tariffs that extend beyond the scope of this article.

Nonetheless, the increase in the electricity tariffs ...

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