10 months ago

African Business 2022 Q1

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A unique guide to business and investment in Africa. The third issue of African Business marks a departure for this respected guide to business and investment on the continent. The first two journals were published in 2020 and 2021 but as of 2022, African Business is a quarterly journal. Every edition will carry editorial copy that will cover the following general topics, with a wide range of subjects within the broader economic sector: energy; mining and exploration; trade; finance; technology and tourism. In addition to this, special features on topical matters will be published periodically, along with country profiles.

So the Department of

So the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE) believed that EIA to have been valid but the judge sided with the protestors. Then it’s essentially just a view on the quality of the EIA? It is not even so much the view of the quality of the EIA. We have embraced this culture of environmental fundamentalism. Anything that reaches the levels of fundamentalism is a problem. I think that in a society where if you hold a different view you are ridiculed, you are called names and you are attacked, to me it says that we are a society that is quickly degenerating. I think that we genuinely need to guard against that level of degeneration. What should replace that? Have honest conversations. It is okay to have differences of opinion but our relationship as members of society is not defined around our difference of opinion on a particular matter. But we can have a conversation and allow for a battle of ideas. From that, a dominant idea that is substantiated with facts must prevail. But we are becoming a society whose dominance of ideas is defined by the level of noise and not the facts and that troubles me very deeply. I honestly believe that as a nation we’ve got to be very careful that we are not defined by who makes the loudest noise. Below: Large-scale soft sediment deformation and folding occurring in the uppermost Peninsula Formation at its contact with the Pakhuis and Cedarberg Formation at Baliesgat, Cederberg. This “Fold Zone” formed some 440-million years ago during the deposition of the glacigenic Pakhuis Formation. development and that development and conservation are not necessarily mutually exclusive. We pitch them against each other. That’s why you saw Shell chased away off the South Coast and they went and made a major discovery next door. Any country that claims that it is desperate for development will of course pay attention to the type of technology that is used within its borders but equally, it will validate the veracity of the allegation that technology is bad, either for particular species or for the environment at large. Was an EIA done before Shell was given permission to do a seismic survey? It was. Please expand on your statement that conservation and development are not mutually exclusive. I am not sure that we are asking the right questions. I have learned that there is nothing worse in life than getting the right answers to the wrong questions. The question is: Can we have development and conservation? My answer is yes. The next question is what would it take to have both? Then invest in research. We have the crème de la crème of scientists in this country, in our academic institutions and various research institutions of the state. We have collaborations in the African continent and the rest of the world. Are we directing research to answer the right development questions? Which development questions must take into cognisance the importance of conservation? I am not sure as a society we have yet been 8

MINERALS EXPLORATION deliberate enough to define the question and then direct the research to answer that question. I think there is just a lot of haphazard research. Was there research knowledge that might have been employed in the debate about the maritime seismic survey? To everybody everywhere in the world, it is incomprehensible and inconceivable that only the whales off the south coast will be affected by a seismic survey. It is a well-developed technology globally; everybody everywhere in the world uses this technology. There is nothing that Shell has brought here that we have not been using. The Council for Geoscience uses seismic surveys to map. We recently launched a small research vessel of our own to do surveys within 15 nautical miles. It continues to do surveys. Tell us more about the CGS’s maritime programme? We are moving very aggressively and we are focused on the near shore at the moment. We recently signed a service-level agreement with the SA Navy. They are going to make available another boat for us in the short term, and when their replacement vessel for SAS Protea is complete, we will be able to place our equipment on board. We have approached the military and said to them we are one country, we are one government, we are one state, we have the same pool of resources. We will not compromise your security; we just need to mount the instruments so that when you do your research or you do a patrol you collect the data. The last calculation we did of gross in situ value of minerals in South Africa is .6-trillion. This process is ramping up? We are focusing on the near shore and we have approached the Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment (DFFE) so that we can gain access to SA Agulhas II, the huge ship that visits the Antarctic. We are increasing marine mapping. Planning around Operation Phakisa (the blue economy) showed us that we have vast prospects right under our nose that we have not looked at through a coordinated economic and developmental prism balanced with environmental stewardship. South Africa has applied for the extension of the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) at the United Nations. Part of the reason our application has taken so long is because we don’t have sufficient knowledge of our offshore geology. 9 Above: Prolonged pseudokarstic weathering of coarse-grained sandstones of the Skurweberg Formation at Stadsaal, Cederberg, give these rocks their characteristic grotesque (or “scabrous”) appearance from which the mountain namesake derives its Afrikaans name.

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