27/01/00 Liquid Fuels & Gas Workshop

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Mineral Resources and Energy

27 January 2000
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Meeting Summary

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Meeting report

27 January 2000

Documents Distributed
Portfolio Committee on Minerals and Energy Committee Programme January to March 2000
Ministry of Minerals and Energy Priorities for 2000
The Liquid Fuels Industry 2000 and Beyond: Critical Policy Issues

The committee began their workshop by discussing their program for January to March 2000. Their program includes: DME on budget allocations and programme; Science Councils and Associated Institutions briefing on budget and transformation; and Legislation and Policy deliberations.

Mr Ayanda Nkuhlu presented the committee with the Ministerial Priorities for the year 2000. See Appendix A of this document for the details of his presentation.

Finally, Riaz Jawoodeen, from the Institute for Policy and Social Research (IPSR) gave a presentation, entitled "The Liquid Fuels Industry 2000 and Beyond: The Critical Policy Issues". See Appendix B of this document for the details of his presentation. Mr Jawoodeen's presentation focused on transforming the local liquid fuel industry into an internationally competitive industry as part of its medium to long term planning. He pointed out that policies need to ensure that the transformation occurs for the vast majority of South Africans in order that the divide between the established oil companies and Black oil companies can be narrowed.

Mr Jawoodeen told the committee that deregulation would have to start coterminously with the implementation of a new regulatory regime for the transition. He also mapped out some of the consequences of deregulation. The consequences include: checking uneven competition and monopoly practices; fair pricing system; job losses through self service stations; and a loss of 25% of service stations. Mr Jawoodeen mentioned several long term projects which he felt were important to empower South Africans to drive a strategically important industry. Some of the projects include: developing a new refinery; development of a regional refining center; development of a regional pricing center; developing the national oil company; developing a petrochemical industry and developing the gas industry.

Appendix A

Ministry of Minerals and Energy Priorities for 2000




The first meeting of all DME associated bodies was addressed by the Deputy President, who outlined Government's priorities and expectations from support institutions.

A forum of Associated bodies has been set up to enable better co-ordination pt' the institutions and better service delivery and support for Government priorities. The following focus areas and task teams have been established.

A). Human Resource

B) Corporate Governance

C) Economic Development

D) Transformation

This co-ordination will be mobilised especially for:

(i) Support of the Integrated Rural Development Strategy,

(ii) A Human Resource Development strategy for Mineral and Energy sector, and

(iii) Improved service delivery as part of their core mandate,

(iv) Proceed with transformation and re-aligning to 21st century focus and Government priorities, especially Mintek, CEF and Nuclear bodies

This will be an important resource to support our work.


This is a joint effort with DTI as well as industry and Labour.

One of the highlights will be a survey of the small and world class manufacturers and designers who will be promoted and assisted with both supply-side and demand-side measures.

The Department of Minerals and Energy (DME) will also co-operate with the Chamber initiative to bring West African Goldsmiths to train SA jewellers some of whom will be retrenched miners in rural areas. This initiative was introduced by DME insistence that Gold producers contribute to sustainable and new jobs, following improved Gold price.

The President has been invited to open an event in August 2000 which will show the talent in this sector to potential buyers and investors.


The Social Plan task team of the Gold Crisis Committee has been converted to the Social Plan of the Mining industry.

In collaboration with the Department of Labour, DME has worked industry and Department of Local Governrnent and Department of Public Works to identify sending mining villages that can be assisted as part of

Integrated Rural Development Strategy.

The Three Departments will be combining their resources with the mining houses. The details of these initiatives will be announced at the Mining summit.

DME is a lead Department appointed by the Deputy President to ensure the rolling out of Basic Infrastructure in an integral manner and to optimize where there are economic possibilities.


The objectives of the Summit have been narrowed to:

A) Agreeing on key issues critical stakeholders will closely co-operate on.

B) Developing concrete job creating rural projects driven tripartitely that will be located in the sending villages with highest retrenchments.

  1. Promoting a Mining and Mineral Resources development approach which will seek involvement and focus on the value chain and create quality job in benefication. There are 21 minerals that have been identified in that respect.
  2. Agree on a Framework that will be used for Human Resource Development and career-pathing in the industry as well as positioning South Africa as a technology leader for the sector. The President has been invited to this Summit
  3. We will address issues related to Black Economic Empowerment, Junior and marginal mining especially access to financing & good ore & appropriate technology e.g. medium-sized technology.
  4. We would agree on a 2 year promotion programme for the sector that will be driven tripartitely. This is an intiative that will sign the reality and opportunity of the 21st century Mining and Minerals Development approach as against mining.
  5. Replace the Gold Crisis Committee with a Mining and Mineral Resources Development Committee which will also act as an Advisory Board envisaged in the White Paper.


We will develop an integrated strategy for meaningful economic empowerment strategy in both Energy and Minerals sector. The strategy will have a broad framework and specific initiatives including Human Resources Development. The Department already has a basic policy position which needs to be developed taking into account the experiences of Black Economic Empowerment initiatives in the last 6 years.


We are no more satisfied with our safety record, following many and regular accidents. We are reviewing the mining accidents and our policies and programmes in this regard with the aim to improve implementation and behaviour of those who are at risk, to introduce new and better technology. We will be inviting survivors, experts, labour to contribute to this review.

We will be introducing a Bravery award for survivors of mine accidents. The Portfolio Committee will also be requested to host hearings on the matter with the expressed aim of enhancing both policy and practice in this important area of our work. As a leading mining country SA has to uphold a high safety standard.


We will be implementing a programme developed together with Laboour and Business aimed at intensifying our work on AIDS given that mining is a high risk sector. Deputy Minister Susan Shabangu is driving this program in the Department.

We are planning to co-operate on HIV/AIDS with the Department of Health, Health workers in mine hospitals and health services for dependants and will also include education for spouses of miners.


We will be focusing on improvement of quality of life through the provision of energy as part of the integrated rural development strategy.

Challenging violence against women.

Economic empowerment including, Human Resource Development both within and outside the Department and improving quality of life and poverty alleviation.


The industry in no doubt needs to be revisited after the presentation of the report to the Committee. In general the Department will emerge with a more coherent strategy on Diamonds including the future role of the South African Diamond Board, the Government Diamond Valuator and the possible abolition of the Diamond Act.

The boycott threat is growing as a result of diamonds that are linked to support for rebels in conflict areas. South Africa will lead a campaign to protect industry from potential diruption and destruction. At the same time De Beers will have to exhibit greater corporate citizenship in SA and greater initatives, to develop the manufacturing industry in Southern Africa and for BEE.


An overhaul of the Minerals Act 50 of 91 is being undertaken and the new bill is being re-written in line the with the White Paper on Minerals. The new provisions on the Diamond Act will also be included as a separate chapter so will the transfer of Mineral Rights to the State. A new regulatory regime, Tax issues in the diamond and mining industries will also be addressed in the Minerals Development Bill.

This is likely to be the most testing task for the Legislators.


Co-ordinated institutional support needs to be enhanced and be responsive to needs of small-scale miners, ranging from finance, technology and good are bodies. The study tour of the Committee will also throw light into the matter. The Department will also support the newly formed SAWIMA.



Rural Electrification and energization in general will be should in the middle of the year launch a programme areas using different energy sources for households and the communities.


We will release the discussion document in February following our presentation to Cabinet.

We will have a complete policy by August 2000

We will do a simulation for a Nuclear Disaster Management to which the President has been invited to.


The NER has been restructured and rebuilt following it's problems.

It will in following years also become involved in the regulation of off- grid energy sources including Independent Power Producers. A proper regulatory framework on the off-grid energy sources will be critical for sustainable rural development and setting standards for Licencees that are informed by the Integrated Rural Development Strategy.


We will re-visit the Gas strategy in line with unfolding challenges. In Government and Private Sector. The Government's intention still remains that of fast-tracking introduction of gas into our energy mix. The Gas Bill will also be tabled.


Progress on the EDI is underway and we will be appointing experts soon who will advise Government on this major restructuring iniative. The restructuring is aimed at improving efficiency and costs of distributing energy. The EDI process will be informed by a broader view of the Energy Supply Industry. By the end of year 2000, we will be in a position to indicate how the new system will work.


Underpinning all our work in the energy sector will be the IEP. The development of IEP will involve consultations in Parliament and broadly with the community. This process will enable Government to decide what energy sources will be appropriate for South Africa. The IEP study will be finished before the year ends.


Following Black Economic Empowerment initiatives by the industry, Government will revisit regulations in order to meet the objectives of the White Paper. Key decisions on this sector will also be on:

* Strategic Stocks Policy as part of implementing the White Paper on Energy


* Restructuring of Central Energy Fund (CEF) into:

-Commercial: State oil company combining Mossgas and Soekor

-Non-Commercial: Policy, regulator and strategic responsibilities is proceeding.

Petroleum Licencing Agency of South Africa, a licensing already been established as part of the non-commercial activites:

* Re-Regulation: Furthermore, the Department will put forward proposals for re-regulation of the Petroleum industry which will be implemented only when the Economic Empowerment obligations have been met my the private sector. We are currently re-visiting the Petrol Pricing structure.


We are currently reviewing the tarrif protection we are providing to Sasol and we will pronounce on the matter once the review is complete.


In line with new Government and Department of Minerals and Energy priorities, we

are restructuring the Department to meet the challenges of the 21st century especially in the following areas:

A) Integrated Rural Development Strategy

B) HIV/ Aids

C) Reduction of expenditure on Nuclear energy

D) Achieving Universal Access by 2010

E) The need to be more focused on downstream activities

  1. Focus on Research and Development needs.

Appendix B

The Liquid Fuels Industry 2000 and Beyond: Critical Policy Issues






Riaz Jawoodeen

Institute For Policy and Social Research (IPSR)

27 January 2000


The release of the White Paper on Energy in December 1998 was a watershed towards the transformation of energy policy from the apartheid era to the post apartheid era. The White Paper expressed Government's immediate vision for the restructuring of the liquid fuels industry only in broad outline.

Attempting to achieve the aims and objectives of the White Paper would be no easy feat as this is occurring under adverse international conditions. The oil industry since its early inception has always been a global industry, but of late the notion of economies of scale in the industry has fundamentally been transformed. The collapse in the crude oil price last year forced oil companies to pool and rationalise assets to ensure profitability and competitiveness. This has led to many mergers between international oil companies such as BP and AMOCO and later ARCO, Mobil and Exxon and Total and Petrofina thereby redefining the level of economies of scale.

The Asian financial crisis brought about a glut in international crude oil markets which depressed the price of crude and reduced refining capacity and margins. This has led to a dramatic reduction in international investment for new energy projects in the industry. In global terms the South African market is small and is viewed internationally through the prism of a Southern African market to attract foreign investment. Therefore it is imperative that Government restructure the industry in a manner which attracts foreign investment. This can only occur if a coherent industrial strategy is developed for the oil industry.

The task of transforming the local liquid fuels industry from the seige economy of the past into an internationally competitive industry would have to commence not so much from international factors in as much as local factors. To ensure the correction of the historical injustice of apartheid the South African state has to assume a developmental role. A developmental state formation is concerned with more than legislation as part of its package of delivery. In fact a developmental state has to chart out an effective industrial strategy for the liquid fuels industry as an integral part of its drive for economic growth and sustainable development in this country and in the Southern African region.

In relative terms the country has a world class and mature liquid fuels industry. The local oil industry is comparatively competitive in the sense that South Africa has the same amount of vehicles on the road as Los Angeles. However, our market is far bigger than all SADC countries combined. During this term of Government the remaining remnants of the apartheid past in the oil industry would have to undergo transformation. This industry would have to become the catalyst and foundation for economic growth in the country.


The White Paper on Energy spelt out a broad vision for the restructuring of the industry, but did not spell out concrete policy options throughout the value chain. The vision contained in the White Paper has been broadly supported by all stakeholders and a process to chart out legislative aspects and concrete policy options has commenced. However, if policy issues are approached in a piece meal manner this could become problematic in achieving a medium to long term vision for the development of the industry. Thus, a more consistent approach to developing policy and a medium to long term vision is required to ensure investment and development of the industry.

In this process Government would have to develop a clear distinction between commercial processes and the policy process. Some commercial processes appear to be policy processes and impact on the policy process as these are based on voluntary arrangements. There are many voluntary agreements between industry players and this occurs for two reasons, namely, the country's well developed synfuels industry as well as economic efficiency. Therefore Government would have to carefully delineate issues which would form the fundamental legislative aspects of the White Paper.

On the whole Government's strategy for the restructuring of the industry has not created any disruption to the efficient functioning of the industry. Government's broad policy vision as contained in the White Paper has supported by all stakeholders including the oil industry.

The White Paper suggests three phases for the restructuring of the liquid fuels industry. The first phase would be characterised by the achievement of seven milestones and would essentially constitute the transition. On the basis of the achievement of the milestones the restructuring process would proceed from the transition to the second phase. The second phase would be characterised by deregulation which the White Paper defines as 'allowing market forces to set prices'.

The third phase would be the post deregulation phase where Government would monitor the deregulation of the industry and correct market deficiencies.

Policy solutions to the process to restructure the liquid fuels industry varies internationally. In other words there is no universal panacea for the transformation of the industry. Currently our point of focus for stakeholders is the transition as I Government attempts to outline the regulatory regime.


At the broadest level of abstraction the transition would move the industry from the

apartheid past into the present. It is the contention of this analysis that the county is beginning to witness the first wave of new regulation for the transition period. It is a new regulatory framework which would fully develop in outline during the course of the next eighteen months. Its development would occur in the process of the evolution of legislation for the energy sector and the need for the DME and Ministry to develop independent research on specific policy options to effect the vision of the White Paper in concrete terms.

The oil industry has been expecting and preparing for a different type of transition period which would have led more rapidly towards deregulation. In fact since the release of the White Paper on Energy the marketing strategies and promotional campaigns of the oil industry were geared towards a more rapid transition period through forcing the regulatory framework to breaking point resulting in a potential collapse of the regulatory framework. This was certainly a short sighted approach.

In the final analysis Government's initial approach to the liquid fuels industry was one of minimal intervention in anticipation that industry players would themselves negotiate amicable arrangements to deliver the milestones. This has not materialised and has resulted in Government developing a different approach to realise the milestones contained in the White Paper.

Recently, the Minister announced that the transition period would be characterised by re-regulation of the industry. This means one of two things, namely that a new regulatory framework would be developed or a modified apartheid regulatory framework would govern the industry. This choice Government would have to decide upon in the near future.

The rationale for re-regulation during the transition period is based upon the current deadlock in achieving the goal of Black economic empowerment and problems relating to the restructuring of state assets as well as the industry pricing structure. This indicates that the type of transition as industry anticipated would not develop1 but at the same time the announcement of the Minister is consistent with the White Paper given the current objective situation. Instead a new regulatory framework would develop for the transition period if Government is to meet its BEE objectives and other milestones

The Black oil companies would have to be placed on a more sound footing in terms of market share and security of supply. The current state support for Sasol should cease and Government should begin to empower the Black oil companies

The recent rise in international crude prices coupled with the weakening of the Rand against the dollar has meant vast increases in fuel prices for consumers. For the country to become internationally competitive it is important that liquid fuels reaches the end user at the cheapest possible price. On numerous occasions the IBLC as a pricing formula has been criticised and during the transition a new pricing formula would have to develop. At the same time industry levels of profitability would have to reflect international norms to ensure efficiency and global competitiveness. In other words a modified or new MPAR formula needs to develop. The current situation has a tendency to contribute to uncertainty in the industry thereby negativety affecting investments.

The national oil company as announced by the Minister would have to establish itself in terms of the local market as well as to ensure that it is able to withstand pressure from the established integrated oil companies. Its linkages with the Black oil companies would have to be defined during the course of the transition. In the final analysis commercial processes would have to be in place prior to the state assets becoming an instrument of Black economic empowerment. Whatever commercial process is put in place must be globally competitive in the long run and this could be achieved through bench marking development processes of the national oil company.

The pipeline system and other infrastructure related to the oil industry should function as state utilities. There should be no development of private pipelines as developing countries cannot afford to duplicate capital intensive infrastructure. This would be a waste of scarce capital resources. The infrastructure of the liquid fuels industry would have to operate on the basis of a common carrier at internationally competitive prices.

Re-regulation of the industry invariably means a more prolonged transition than the envisaged initial period of five years. It would also mean that the regulatory regime governing the industry which is currently developing would affect the commercial aspects of the industry. In the next five years the country would observe a profile of an industry which is substantively transformed in comparison to the apartheid past.


The current policy trajectory by the Ministry and DME also implies that deregulation would be studied by government prior to implementation and it may not occur in five years. In fact planning for deregulation would have to commence coterminously with the implementation of a new regulatory regime for the transition. The importance for planning to occur at this time is to ensure that there is no major disruption in the supply chain of the industry. Furthermore, planning is also required to prevent distortions in the market as well as market failures upon the lifting of the regulatory framework.

This planning for deregulation would have to ensure that Government develops the appropriate regulatory mechanisms for deregulation. Any unplanned move to deregulation would lead to disruption in the industry as is currently the case in Kenya.

For any developing economy whose major programme of social delivery includes job creation, deregulation carries many serious consequences.

Uneven competition and monopoly practices would have to be checked to ensure no player is at an undue advantage in terms of privileges awarded by the former apartheid regime and this is qualitatively different to a competitive advantage. Thus, the notion of commercially benefiting from the concept of locational advantage would have to disappear in oil industry vocabulary.

Government would have to ensure that the pricing system under deregulation would still have to be transparent and based on international norms. In a nutshell it would have to be based on the Cheapest Import Alternative (CIA) instead of a variation of the IBLC. Price distortions between urban and rural areas which could arise would have to be planned for within the new pricing formula.

Internationally deregulation of the oil industry carries many social consequences. The principal social consequence in our context is in the form of job losses through self service. The White Paper protects full service in the first phase, namely the transition and indicates that 'suitable arrangements to address any labour related consequences of deregulation' have to be achieved. Without a concrete industry based social plan in place government would not be in a position to deregulate the industry

Deregulation would also bring into existence service station closures in the form of marginal sites. One estimate of the level of possible closure has placed this figure at around 25% of the country's service stations. Unplanned deregulation would also prompt oil companies to concentrate their marketing efforts on the most profitable distribution areas. This would negatively affect rural development as energy is the key to any form of modern agricultural development.

For the supposed benefits of deregulation to materialise in terms of a positive impact on economic growth in other industrial sectors a study is required which contains a long term vision. At this point in time there is agreement between research organisations and the DME on the fact that:

"Research by the Department has shown that judged by international experience, deregulation will fundamentally (adversely) affect employment, small business, the synfuel industry and investment by the oil industry. Any drastic change to the current proven system must, particularly in South Africa, deliver a guaranteed better overall deal for the country. Evidence internationally suggests that such a guarantee would not be possible to deliver." [DME quoted in A Grassroots Refinery in South Africa Summit, P~51 Feb 1997]


In the liquid fuels industry the region is led by the largest market. Moreover, the region is supplied through South African refineries. Governments in the region have developed a similar regulatory regime of governance for the industry including the pricing structure. The pricing structure of liquid fuels in the region is based on the IBLC principle1 but the pump price is cheaper than South Africa due to lower levels of taxation. Therefore the outcome of the policy process in this country would directly impact on the trajectory of the industry in the SADC region.

Government has accepted that the issue of increasing refining capacity is not merely an issue of national importance, but assumes a regional significance. Economic drivers would dictate the timing and development as well as the location of any new refinery venture. As refining is a capital intensive venture with low margins it is more cost effective to locate any new refinery closest to the largest market and infrastructure facilities of supply. While re-regulation exists there would be no possibility for the development of a refinery in the SADC region outside of South Africa as import controls would remain in place and therefore there would be little possibility to supply the South African market.

It is also equally imperative that studies commence to map out the energy resources in the region and how best these resources serve the economic development of the region. In the upstream sector a number of studies regarding the hydrocarbon potential of the region have commenced through Soekor and the Council for Geoscience. There are also. independent studies on the hydrocarbon potential of East Africa.

The development of identified hydrocarbon sources coupled with refining capacity would enable the region to develop a regional pricing centre for both crude oil and refined product. Regional integration in the energy sector would also internally spur growth and development of the agricultural and industrial sectors of the economy.


In the energy sector in general and the liquid fuels sector in particular Government needs to develop more long term programmes for capacity building geared towards the development of technical skills. In other words South Africans need to be empowered to drive a strategically (in the economic sense) important industry.

Government needs to develop more concrete feasibility studies rather than broad policy intentions around the future development of the industry both upstream and downstream. This can only occur through the development of a coherent industrial strategy which is based on a medium to long term programme of economic development.


Brownfields development of refining capacity has slowed down due to a drop in the rate of liquid fuel consumption. However, in the next five years brownfields development would occur in all South African refineries. Sasol and Total have already made public announcements to this effect regarding the expansion of NATREF. Other refiners have engaged in refinery expansion and would do so on the basis of demand and economic viability.

This option is a more economical option than the construction of a new refinery at this stage or an import terminal. This position could change ~once the country's existing refinery capacity reaches a combined volume of some 800 000 bbls/day. The countries current facilities are adequate to provide the liquid fuel requirements for the next decade and the economics of this situation prevents the development of a new refinery at this stage.


After the year 2010 a new refinery would have to come on stream if demand growth patterns increase. This new refinery would have to supply the largest market in the region without any state support and therefore would have to factor regional demand to be economically viable. Planning for this refinery should commence shortly if the location is to be South Africa as the lead time for construction could be between five and seven years. If this refinery is located within the borders of the largest regional market then it is imperative that this refinery be black owned and controlled with a suitable strategic and technical partner. In the final analysis the country has the potential to develop into a refining centre for the region and even Sub-Saharan Africa


The development of a new refinery and the upgrading of existing refineries in the region can bring into existence a regional refining centre which could supply the continent as well as serve as a source of earning export revenue. This potential needs to be carefully studied and explored as it directly impacts on future development


If a regional refining centre is to develop then it is possible to develop a regional pricing centre in Southern Africa. Given the fact the region is not a major crude producer with the exception of Angola this regional pricing centre should be based on refined product prices. The appropriate pricing formula would have to be developed in conjunction with stakeholders as there are a variety of options to be explored. For the regional pricing centre to be successful refining profitability would have to be ensured.

Any new regional pricing should not be based on the IBLC, but on other internationally accepted formula which factor local conditions into account.


Upon the completion of the restructuring of state assets and the commercialisation of the national oil company Government would have to determine whether the company would remain at the upstream and refining level or whether it would in the medium to long term develop into a fully fledged integrated oil company. There are many routes which could be followed in either of the options. Commercial processes in this regard should take precedence prior to ensuring Black economic empowerment through state assets.


The White Paper clearly indicates that 'Government would promote a refining and petrochemical hub at a coastal location1. The problem with the country's current strategy for developing a petrochemical industry is that it is much too reliant on one player in the industry, namely, Sasol. This strategy has not produced the desired results and therefore a more broad based strategy which includes other industry players would have to evolve. The synfuels process also has missing links in petrochemical streams. At the same time it does play a significant role in the petrochemical industry. However, the country's export orientated trade policy means that coastal locations would have to be studied and evolved in order to realise the development of the petrochemical industry. However, progress in this regard is rather slow and Government would have become the catalyst to ensure the expansion of a petrochemical industrial complex in this country.


A number of gas projects are underway and the two most prominent is the Pande and Temane projects in Mozambique and the Kudu gas project in Namibia. The natural gas industry in South Africa is unique in that the largest sources of supply lie outside the borders of the country while the revenue stream and largest anchor clients are based in the industrial heartland of this country. The Kudu gas project is worth some $ 3 billion dollars for the region with more than half the investment being earmarked for South Africa

Government has been rather slow in the development of necessary legislation which creates investor confidence. While the Gas Bill undergoes its own metamorphosis Government must indicate to investors that its policy framework would encourage investment for the development of the local gas industry. Moreover, investors should be confident that the Gas Bill would reach Parliament by the third quarter of this year.

These gas projects can also become an integral part of the development of the country's petrochemical complex. The development of the gas industry would allow us to remain apace with important environmental concerns, more especially, given the drive by Government to develop the tourism industry.


The country needs to develop an industrial strategy for the liquid fuels industry as part of its medium to long term planning. The energy industry is an important catalyst to economic development.

The local liquid fuels industry would have to develop into an internationally competitive industry. As a country we should not repeat the apartheid experience in the form of an industrial divide between Afrikaner and English business. Policies need to ensure that transformation occurs for the vast majority of this country in order that the divide between the established oil companies and Black oil companies can be narrowed. So that one day in our not to distant future we just speak about the oil industry and not about a White oil industry and a Black oil industry

In this county and the continent the African Renaissance would economically develop on the basis of the minerals-energy complex, agriculture and tourism. Upon this base primary and secondary industry related to beneficiation and commodity production would emerge. Our future lies in policies and choices which we make today.


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