GRACELIN BASKARAN: Long-term perspective needed to turn mining boom into sustainable growth
Windfalls have not always stimulated the structural reforms required to boost the economy
SA is experiencing a mining boom, but translating this into sustainable growth requires intentionality and a long-term development perspective.
The boom has been strong. In 2020, though there was a 15.5% reduction in platinum group metal (PGM) production, the value of PGM sales rose 40% due to a surge in commodity prices, a trend that continued into 2021. From January 2020 to May 2021 rhodium prices rose 323% and palladium prices 44.5%. It is no surprise that rhodium accounted for 53% of total PGM exports during the second quarter of 2021. Production and sales have now exceeded prepandemic levels...