PETER BRUCE: Gwede’s power permission plan is coal comfort for investors
Everything Mantashe utters or does is, in one way or another, about protecting coal or drawing out the decline in its use for as long as possible
It’s Mining Indaba time again. You can’t find a hotel room in Cape Town and everyone’s waiting for minerals & energy minister Gwede Mantashe to top his announcement in Australia last year of the discovery in SA of an entirely fictional new, and extremely valuable and rare, mineral.
In fact, the wait may already be over. Mantashe as minister of mining and well as energy, gets to decide not only who mines but who generates energy and, crucially, what they’re allowed to do with it. He is also a coal guy — grew up with it, deep in the unions around it (hence his close relationship with President Cyril Ramaphosa, the original founder of the National Union of Mineworkers).