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SAIIA Policy Insights No 34, August 2016
SAIIA Occasional Paper No 239, September 2016
Three countries in southern Africa have banded together to press for the ban on international trade in ivory to be lifted. South Africa, Namibia and Zimbabwe have submitted a joint proposal to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). They are asking for permission to trade in ivory without which, they argue, there are no positive incentives to conserve elephants or their habitats.
SAIIA Policy Insights No 33, July 2016
The mineral resources minister recently gazetted an amended Mining Charter, which generated a good deal of controversy. Although the revised charter retains the principal target of achieving 26% ownership of mining companies by historically disadvantaged South Africans, it adds the requirement of retaining this level continuously. A further amendment stipulates that workers, through the establishment of employee share ownership plans (Esops), are to be allocated a minimum stake of 5% that counts towards the 26% total black economic empowerment (BEE) equity.
Following our beautiful photo report from Botswana, we offer you another look behind the scenes at SAIIA's work in the field. Join researchers Romy Chevallier and Ross Harvey as they travel to Tanzania to investigate small scale mining and sustainable management of the country's forests and wildlife.
The drought that has hammered Southern Africa over the past years is a potent reminder (if ever it was needed) of the foundational importance of agriculture to the continent’s fortunes. Agriculture remains a mainstay of Africa’s economy, accounting for around a third of GDP and two thirds of employment.
In early May, the governments of Zimbabwe and Namibia took the unusual step of petitioning the Convention on the International Trade of Endangered Species (CITES) to remove their elephants from CITES protection, which currently prohibits them from selling elephant ivory. Arguing that the international ban – imposed in 1989 - of selling ivory has been a costly and unsuccessful 26-year ‘experiment’, officials from the two Southern African countries are trying to make a case for releasing their ivory stockpiles onto the global market and thereby turn a profit.
The ‘Land Question’. From legislation under consideration – such as the new Expropriation Bill – to a reopened land claims process, to violent evictions in Hammanskraal, to emotive rhetoric around current landholding patterns, the politics of land is shaking South Africa. In this, South Africa is not unique.
If Dickens were observing South Africa’s mining sector, in the context of an economy that is growing at less than one percent a year, and a political landscape fractured by state capture and ratings downgrade threats, he may have started his famous novel with the line, ‘It was the worst of times’, and left it at that. Mining production has declined 18% year-on-year to May and job losses are growing.
The 2016 International Day for Biological Diversity (IDB) will be commemorated on the 22nd of May with the theme of ‘Mainstreaming Biodiversity: Sustaining People and their Livelihoods’. In December this year, this same theme will form the basis of discussion of the 13th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (COP13) in Cancun, Mexico. These events provide a unique opportunity for African governments to explore strategies of halting the degradation of ecosystems while at the same time promoting inclusive socioeconomic development. 
Kenya destroyed its entire stockpile of elephant ivory; over 100 tonnes of ‘white gold’ went up in smoke on Saturday, 30 April 2016. This stock consists of both illegally harvested ivory (confiscated from poachers or traders) and naturally accruing ivory (from natural mortality). In China - where the majority of the world’s ivory is currently either consumed or stockpiled - the recently reported price of ivory is USD$1,100/kg, and the average weight of a pair of elephant tusks is around 7kg. This means that the final value - at point of consumption - of one pair of elephant tusks is worth roughly…
SAIIA Occasional Paper No 229, April 2016
The single most significant thing that President Zuma acknowledged in his ‘State of the Nation Address’ last week was the risk of a credit rating downgrade for South Africa:
There is growing interest in the commercial value of South Africa’s coastal zones, primarily for sand mining to supply the construction sector. While stakeholders, including resident communities, recognise the potential for economic development and employment, there are also significant negative environmental and livelihood consequences.
The annual African Mining Indaba takes place from 8-11 February 2016 in Cape Town, the flagship event for investors, mining companies and governments. But what happens at the Indaba? What are the concerns?
On 8 February 2016, a SAIIA Mining Indaba Roundtable in Cape Town on ‘Contested Spaces: Mining and South Africa’s Coastal Zones’ attracted government, business and civil society to engage in some excellent debates.
Billed as the premier annual event for African mining interests, the 2016 Mining Indaba will take place in Cape Town from 8 to 11 February. But what is being discussed at the Indaba? Are all interests equally represented? And what do research institutes on the ground across Africa think about what is being decided there?
Dear Editors and Journalists The annual African Mining Indaba will take place from 8-11 February in Cape Town, despite a constrained low-commodity price environment and substantial asset impairments among some of the world’s major mining houses. The conference aims to connect investors with mining companies and governments. On the side lines of this conference, SAIIA will host two important events.
Despite a constrained low-commodity price environment, and substantial asset impairments among some of the world’s major mining houses, the annual African Mining Indaba will take place from 8-11 February in Cape Town. The conference aims to connect investors with mining companies and governments. On the side lines of this conference, SAIIA will host two important events.
SAIIA Policy Briefing 146, January 2016
Join SAIIA researchers Romy Chevallier and Ross Harvey as they travel to Botswana to look at successful and sustainable opportunities linked to the country’s beautiful natural resources: its wildlife, parks and conservation areas.
SAIIA Policy Briefing 145, December 2015
As a mining jurisdiction, South Africa’s score (relative global rank indexed out of a maximum of 100) on the Fraser Institute Investment Attractiveness Index has fallen from 56.1 in 2011/12 to 52.6 last year. The country ranked 64th out of 122 competitors, eclipsed by Tanzania, Namibia, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Madagascar and Côte d’Ivoire.
Sustainable development summits and climate change negotiations have slowly but steadily paved the way to the recognition of the inextricable linkages between water, energy and climate change.
SAIIA Research Report No 21, December 2015   Download - English (697.02 kB)  Governance of Africa’s Resources ProgrammeThis research report first considers the industrial policy debate on beneficiation and its context within the broader policy debate on the appropriate role of industrial policy.
SAIIA Occasional Paper No 224, November 2015
Volume 22.3 of the South African Journal of International Affairs, now available online, includes a special section entitled ‘Development Banks of the Developing World: Regional Roles, Governance and Sustainability.’