/ 17 January 2023

Load-shedding hits mining output

mining output recorded its 13th consecutive month of year-on-year declines in February, decreasing by 5%, according to data from Statistics South Africa (Stats SA). Photo: Supplied

Mining output decreased by 9% year-on-year in November 2022, Statistics South Africa announced on Tuesday. This marked the 10th consecutive month of decline in mining production. This follows a 10.4% decrease in October. 

The largest negative contributors were platinum group metals (PGMs) with a 22% decrease, diamonds with a 21.5% decline and iron ore with a 19.4% decrease. 

The last time the sector recorded annual growth was in January 2022. 

Nedbank economists said for the October print that “Erratic power supply, inflationary pressures, supply chain disruptions and the challenges associated with illegal mining continued to restrict production.” 

Seasonally adjusted mining production decreased by 0.4% in November 2022 compared with October 2022. This followed month-on-month changes of -3% in October 2022 

October pressures persisted into the November statistics, given that the country had load-shedding every day in November 2022, according to data from The Outlier. 

Its data shows that South Africa is on track for another full month of load-shedding. So far, there have been 17 days of load-shedding in 2023. Eskom last week announced stage six rolling blackouts, which continued until Tuesday morning when the country was moved to stage four from 5am. 

Mineral sales also decreased by 15.2% year-on-year in November 2022 and the largest negative contributors were gold (54.9% decrease), iron ore (40.2% decrease) and PGMs (23.7% decrease).