Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe, accompanied by a high-powered government delegation, left for the UK on Saturday on a mission to promote investment in South Africa, particularly in the country's mining industry.
Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan, Mineral Resources Minister Susan Shabangu and Deputy International Relations Minister Ebrahim Ebrahim are part of the delegation, which will meet with investors, bankers, mining companies and opinion makers over the course of their visit.
The mining sector continues to play a central role in South Africa's economic, political and social environment.
Addressing reporters in Pretoria on Friday after the AGM of state miner Alexkor, Public Enterprises Deputy Minister Bulelani Magwanishe said the industry contributes about 20% to South Africa's gross domestic product (GDP) while accounting for over 15% of non-agricultural jobs, 12% of total investment and 30% of exports.
"South Africa's mining industry has come under sharp scrutiny over the last financial year. The 2012 tragic events at Marikana and widespread labour disputes have significantly impacted the mining industry," Magwanishe said.
Speaking at a Mining Lekgotla in Johannesburg last month, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan said the government had made a number of interventions to help the industry recover from its setbacks.