CAPE TOWN, May 10 (Xinhua) -- South African President Cyril Ramaphosa on Tuesday said the country, like all developing economies, has to be given the necessary developmental space as it takes an energy transition amid energy insecurity.
As South Africa is exploring opportunities of the global energy transition and moving to future strategic metals such as copper, nickel, cobalt, and rare earths, as well as eyeing on platinum group metals and hydrogen economy, it must continue to expand the production of some of the minerals that have been the "mainstay" of its mining industry, which still have much demand, Ramaphosa told Investing in African Mining Indaba taking place in Cape Town from Monday to Thursday.
It is critical that the country's efforts for a low-carbon future are both realistic and sustainable, he said, adding that African countries "need to be able to explore and extract oil and gas in an environmentally-responsible and sustainable manner", as they are important for energy security, social and economic development and reducing energy poverty.
"It is important that as we undertake a just energy transition, we adhere to the principle contained in the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change of common, but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities," he said, noting the importance of improving working and living conditions of mineworkers and mining communities.
South Africa's mining industry registered a growth of 11.8 percent in 2021, the highest across all industries, and recovered production to almost pre-COVID levels last year, official figures showed.
Investing in African Mining Indaba, which was said to be the largest African mining investment event, attracted thousands of attendees from governments, mining groups and relevant players.