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SA Minister Pandor urges Africa to rely on minerals

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Staff writer ▼ | July 7, 2015
South Africa Science and Technology Minister Naledi Pandor says it’s time African countries relied on themselves and beneficiated their minerals for the betterment of their citizens.
Naledi Pandor
Forum   The South African Development Community
This came out as the 37th session of the South African Development Community (SADC) Parliamentary Forum in Durban. Delegates from the 14-member parliaments are meeting under the theme "Industrialisation for SADC Regional Development and Integration."

Pandor was the guest of honour and delivered the keynote address. She also emphasised the importance of manufacturing, especially beneficiation of mineral resources, in driving development. She said often countries like South Africa fail to exploit their resources for development.

She says South Africa is the second largest supplier of the mineral ore that can produce titanium metal. However, the country adds little value to the mineral before it exports it. She adds that these new possibilities can position SA as world leader in the cost-competitive production of high grade titanium metal powder.

The question of why Southern African countries, endowed with some of the largest mineral deposits on earth, remain generally poor and under-developed was addressed by some of the delegates.

One of the most pressing issues the SADC PF is grappling with is to transform itself into a legislative organ. Vice President of the Forum, Joseph Njobvuyalema, says all other regional bodies on the continent have already set up their own parliaments.

Meanwhile, National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete says regional parliaments are keen to get on with the work of setting up the SADC parliament.

The SADC plenary resumes on Wednesday and will conclude on Friday.