South Africa’s Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE) has stated that the country is ready to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with South Sudan for cooperation in the mining sector. Speaking during a DMRE-sponsored investor lunch at the sixth edition of the South Sudan Oil & Power summit this week, the department’s Deputy Director General of Mining, Mineral and Energy Policy Development, Ntokozo Ngcwabe, stated: “We want to pursue a partnership, even if it is through supplying technologies, mapping or surveys, both for mining and petroleum. We are keen to pursue partnerships.”
With energy cooperation agreements already in place between South Sudan and South Africa, the two countries are looking at strengthening bilateral ties, with the mining industry representing a key avenue for trade and investment, along with knowledge and technology transfer.
“We are ready from the South African side to sign the MoU on mining. We have completed the legal processes and are good to go. While this is happening, we will be sending an invitation to South Sudan, inviting both the ministers of mining and petroleum to visit South Africa. We would like to take you on a tour of our facilities,” said Ngcwabe.
The investor lunch also featured a presentation by Lemogang Pitsoe, CEO of African Exploration Mining and Finance Corporation, who provided insight into South Africa’s established mining sector. Pitsoe underscored that South Africa represents the partner of choice for South Sudan, with the country’s state-owned corporations serving as competitive and agile strategic partners.
“We are not into ownership – we are into partnerships,” emphasized Pitsoe.
Potential areas identified for collaboration included mining project development, beneficiation and value addition, and capacity building. According to Pitsoe, “Capacity building doesn’t mean start to finish of mining: we must continuously be in the research and development phase because your commodity today will not be your commodity tomorrow.”