The measures that the Minister of Mineral and Energy Affairs, Mr Gwede Mantashe, announced for the impending corona lockdown are sensible for the most part. Mining activities are not being suspended, because certain plants can simply not be closed.
In addition, the supply of coal to power plants and the manufacturing of liquid fuel continues to meet the expected lower rate of consumption. Mines have to provide their employees with housing and food so that the virus cannot spread as they travel back home to their families.
While the shutdown of the economy has a detrimental effect on all industries, these measures add additional costs for employers in the mining industry.
Thus, it would be appropriate to suspend mining royalties, which are essentially aimed at mining development, until after the crisis. The same goes for carbon tax, which aims to decrease the carbon footprint of the South African economy.
The emission of carbon dioxide gas and other greenhouse gases should decrease significantly during the period of lockdown in any case.
These concessions should enable employers to contribute to the South African economy's recovery after the crisis.
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