An Overview of Producer Services in the Mining Industry in South Africa
"The focus of this particular paper is the role of producer services in the mining sector of South Africa. The objective is to understand what producer services are spawned by the mining sector, what role they play in determining the performance of mining firms, how the firms have chosen to organise their provision and what broader impact have they had on the economy. The first chapter of the paper is an examination of the mining sector, followed by a close look at the historical structure and performance of mining in South Africa where different minerals have come to the fore at different times. The second chapter of the paper examines the mining firm and its production processes. It begins with a description of the emergence of mining finance houses - a peculiar feature of the South African mining sector. The final chapter of the paper takes a close look at how a typical mining firm organises the producer services it uses in the production process. The firm used as a case study is the Anglo American Corporation, the dominant mining finance house in South Africa. The chapter begins with a brief history of the corporation from its beginnings in 1917. The second section of the chapter examines how and why Anglo American has organised its producer services between provision by the Chamber of Mines, the Group, the individual mines and outside contractors. It then continues to look at how these services have performed and how their organisation has changed over time in response to changing circumstances. Finally, the last section concludes by asking whether these services have had an impact on the broader economy."