Department of Mineral Resources and Energy - Republic of South Africa

04/04/2024 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 04/04/2024 02:44


Programme Director

CEO of the Natal Portland Cement Company, Mr Wang Xuanqian

Chairman of the NPC, Mr Xu Gang

Distinguished Guests

Ladies and Gentlemen

Let me take this opportunity to thank the management of the Natal Portland Cement Company for the invitation to attend the 60th anniversary celebrations.

Our participation here goes beyond celebrating the 60th anniversary of the NPC but is informed by our commitment to building relations with the industry and thus promote our proud heritage, accomplishments, and best attributes of the South African nation.

Most significant about this 60th anniversary, is that it coincides with 30 years of freedom and democracy in South Africa, during which, we made significant progress in building a National Democratic Society as set out in the Freedom Charter. A society in which all persons, irrespective of race, gender, and class, act as one in pursuit of a better life for all.

Among the reforms introduced by this government to transform the economy to increase black participation in the ownership, management, and control of the economy, was the introduction of laws and policies on broad-based black economic empowerment. Having learned from the achievements of these reforms, including past mistakes and setbacks, we intend to enhance these provisions through deliberate interventions and thus further expand our economy.

To do this, we have set out priorities that are critical to speeding up transformation and improving the lives of the people.

To begin with, we intend to put South Africa to work through a number of interventions, including collaboration with the private sector on job creation. It is in this context that we are in support of the R1 billion investment in the Simuma expansion project.

Mindful of the complex and difficult times under which your business and many others operate, government is working with all social partners to resolve the current constraints in energy, transport, and logistics as these are important network industries and strategic national assets that are critical to industrialisation, growth, and development. We thus remain committed to building new industries that will propel our economy to greater heights.

Given South Africa's endowment with natural resources that are deemed critical for economic growth, and our plan to ensure that what is mined in our country is beneficiated locally, we look to companies such as the NPC to help us make this a reality and thus ensure that we do not export the much-needed jobs and profits to other nations.

As part of government's concerted efforts aimed at tackling the high cost of living, cultivating the living conditions of the people of South Africa, and improving the working conditions for businesses, we will continue working towards refining governance and the public service and work with communities to deliver quality and reliable basic services, including maintaining and build new infrastructure.

We, therefore, urge all attendees of this important gathering to join us in defending democracy and advancing freedom by promoting and defending the rights of all South Africans and intensifying the war on crime, including illegal mining, and make our communities safe.

In closing programme director, allow me to congratulate the Natal Portland Cement Company yet again for reaching this milestone, and wish them all the best going forward. We hope that we will continue working together in pursuit of a better Africa and a better world.

I thank you.