Speakers at the 2019 Mining Indaba know that a 3pm slot is a bum deal. That’s around the time that the post-lunch energy dip sets in. Some delegates can’t help but nod off while others, who might have overindulged at any of the many cocktail functions the night before, start to slip out. But President Cyril Ramaphosa doesn’t have this problem. Instead, the main auditorium was filled to capacity a good hour before he is scheduled to speak on Tuesday afternoon. It was a significant moment, partly because, even though the Investing in African Mining Indaba is the largest mining conference in the world and has taken place for the last 25-years, this is the first time a sitting SA president has addressed the event. Demand to hear him speak was so high, in fact, that there was a spill-over venue. And as a measure of Ramaphosa’s impact, those in that spill-over venue stood and clapped as they watched him on screen. Perhaps it’s just as well Jacob Zuma never spoke here — the odds of him get...

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