A new batch of industry associations has been uploaded onto the InfluenceMap system and the relationship scores recalculated accordingly.
We adjusted the terminology used to describe the queries running down the left-hand side of our scoring matrix and added additional explanatory text to the info-boxes. This has no impact on the scores and methodology. It has been done following user feedback to improve clarity.
Climate Lobbying Overview: The Minerals Council South Africa (Minerals Council) appears to be actively and negatively lobbying climate change policy in South Africa, particularly on the issue of the carbon tax and the role of coal in the energy mix. However, the group has shown some support for renewable energy and GHG emissions legislation in 2020-21.
Top-line Messaging on Climate Policy: The Minerals Council appears to have mixed positions on climate change in its top-line communications. In an October 2021 press release, the Minerals Council supported the goal of net-zero by 2050 in line with the Paris Agreement. In its 2019 Annual Report, published in May 2020, the Minerals Council also stated that it had promoted the implementation of various mitigation and adaptation measures in South Africa. In its February 2020 position paper on South Africa’s Budget, the Minerals Council supported the “application of the full toolbox of measures to address climate change”. However, on its ‘Coal Mining Matters’ website, accessed in March 2022, the Minerals Council appeared to emphasize the need to protect the competitiveness of South African industry in a carbon-constrained world, suggesting the entity supports a cautious rather than ambitious policy response to climate change.
Engagement with Climate-Related Regulations: The Minerals Council’s engagement with specific items of legislation has focused primarily on South Africa’s carbon tax, which the group has consistently lobbied to block, weaken or delay since 2015.
In 2018, the Minerals Council argued to the Standing Committee on Finance that the tax was unnecessary to meet South Africa’s NDC emissions reductions. In a 2019 position paper on the impact of the carbon tax, the Minerals Council advocated for a 100% relief allowance and a near-zero tax rate for the mining sector in Phase 1. In its 2019 Annual Report, published in May 2020, the group disclosed that it had successfully lobbied to weaken the carbon tax via allowances to alleviate the impact on the mining sector, including trade exposure discounts and performance discounts. In a fin24 report, published in February 2022, the Minerals Council was reported to have welcomed the extension of the first phase of South Africa’s carbon tax policy, which was extended until 2025 and allows for three further years of 60-95% tax allowances for high emitters.
The Minerals Council appears to have engaged more positively on other forms of regulation. In its 2019 Annual Report, published in May 2020, the group disclosed that it had directly advocated for the implementation of GHG emissions legislation in South Africa, including carbon budgets, pollution prevention plans, and reporting guidelines. In a May 2021 virtual summit, CEO Roger Baxter also supported the fast-tracking of renewable energy deployment under Bid Window 5 of the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP) in South Africa.
Positioning on Energy Transition: The Minerals Council continues to support a sustained role for coal in the energy mix, despite top-line support for a “gradual” transition. In an October 2021 press release, the Minerals Council stated that coal would be a significant provider of electricity in South Africa for decades, emphasizing its contribution to employment, exports and the economy. In a September 2021 presentation to South Africa's Presidential Climate Change Commission, CEO Roger Baxter argued that coal-fired power remains critical to baseload power, and confirmed support for incentives and funding for "clean coal" technologies. In July 2021, CEO Roger Baxter argued on social media that coal would play a significant role in South Africa’s energy mix in the near to medium future. In comments to Mining Weekly in June 2020, Baxter further stated that coal-fired plants would provide significant baseload power in South Africa up until 2050. In its 2019 Annual Report, published in May 2020, Minerals Council also appeared to support the diesel rebate system, a form of fossil fuel subsidy in South Africa. In a submission on South Africa’s Draft Integrated Resource Plan in January 2019, the group advocated for the expansion of the Richards Bay Coal Terminal in South Africa. As of October 2021, the Minerals Council leads an initiative called ‘Coal Mining Matters’, which supports a significant role for coal in the energy mix.
However, the Minerals Council also appears to have some positive messaging targeting other issues related to an energy transition. For example, CEO Roger Baxter has communicated support for green hydrogen production via Twitter in September 2021. In an October 2021 press release, the Minerals Council supported increased investment in renewables and green hydrogen in South Africa, and the retirement of coal-fired power stations (although the entity also supported a significant role for coal "for decades").