Johannesburg, 19 February 2014 - Kalagadi Manganese has noted with concern the damning allegations made by the Democratic Alliance (DA) that the Public Investment Corporation (PIC) has approved funding for its projects as a result of political connectedness.

This comes after the DA’s Shadow Minister of Finance David Ross announced on Sunday, 16 February 2014 that the party had requested the Public Protector to investigate ‘the use of pensioners money to bankroll worrisome investments’.

In the announcement, Ross asserts that the PIC has “purchased what is potentially an over-priced share of the Kalagadi Manganese mining company from ANC-connected bigwig Mashile-Nkosi”.

Kalagadi Manganese Executive Chairman, Daphne Mashile-Nkosi, says her company takes a dim view to these baseless and nefarious accusations. She says that contrary to what has been communicated, Kalagadi is still to date awaiting a decision by the PIC on its application for funds to buy ArcelorMittal’s 50% stake in the project. The company has rejected the report by the DA as inaccurate, misleading and misinformed.

Mashile-Nkosi has asked the DA to disclose the source of information regarding the project approval. She has further questioned why the Party would go out of its way to discredit and undermine one of the biggest mining projects in the world that is founded and and managed by women. Kalagadi Manganese is also building a smelter at the port of Coega in the Eastern Cape which will produce around 320,000 tonnes a year of high carbon ferro-manganese for export markets. The project which is located at its Hotazel in the Northern Cape Province, currently employs 3000 people and thereby supports an average of 30 000 families.

“The baseless allegations by the DA demonstrate lack of exposure and understanding of the advancement made by women in business, black women in particular. As a law abiding citizen of this country and a businesswoman, I reserve the right to apply for funding, regardless of my business or political affiliation." said Mashile-Nkosi

The project, which is valued at R7 billion, recently received R2.2 a billion loan from the African Development Bank and the additional funding of R4.2 billion in the form of loans comes from shareholders, who include Mashile-Nkosi.

Mashile-Nkosi took strong exception to the insinuation that her and the company has reportedly benefitted from the PIC investment due to her alleged political affiliation. She further condemned the DA for misleading the public about her business track record, character and stature.

“I have worked hard to establish my business and had to overcome the common challenges that face businessmen and women who are trying to eke out a living. My marriage to the late ANC stalwart Stanley Nkosi is being used mischievously to sully my name and tarnish my reputation. I am confident that my reputation will precede these scurrilous accusations and that the public will see these unfounded allegations for what they really are – a concerted and malicious campaign aimed at scoring cheap political points,” she concluded.

About Kalagadi Manganese

Kalagadi is an integrated mining and beneficiation project that will produce and beneficiate up to three million tonnes of manganese ore a year at its Hotazel operations in the Northern Cape Province. Underway are plans to build a Smelter at the Coega Industrial Development Zone in the Eastern Cape Province, which will be the largest investment and anchor project for the IDZ.

The mine complex, ore preparation plant, and the state-of-the-art sinter plant has been launched as well as supporting infrastructure which includes the redevelopment of 9.6km of provincial road and bridge, a new reservoir capable of storing 17 million litres of water, a 40 MVA electricity sub-station, and a 23 km railway line and loop to link to the main Transnet line to Port Elizabeth.