ANC will talk mining

2010-07-10 11:50

Julius Malema has overcome his first huddle ­towards making mine

nationalisation part of the country’s economic policy by making sure it is part

of the ANC policy conference in September.

If he succeeds to convince the mid-term policy reviewing

conference, the government may be forced to change its stance on nationalisation

and start a process to achieve it.

Malema, the president of the ANC Youth League (ANCYL), said on

Friday that the ruling party would hold seminars to discuss the matter ahead of

its National General Council meeting in Durban, where ANC policies would come

­under members’scrutiny.

Malema said: “The debate is still going on. The ANC is going to

conduct seminars that will debate the matter. It is no longer an ANCYL issue; it

is an ANC ­issue. We will be participating in these seminars as one of the

structures within the ANC.”

ANC spokesperson Jackson Mthembu said the party would hold

discussions in its regions and branches to discuss economic policy.

“There will be serious round-table documents that will look at our

approach to the economy, including the nationalisation of mines.”

In its discussion document on the nationalisation of mines, the

ANCYL is calling for the establishment of a state-owned mining company that can

be used as a springboard to nationalise mines.

It argues that South African mining legislation – the Mineral and

Petroleum Resources Development Act – must be amended to allow the state-owned

mining company to take 60% in new mining operations, with the balance ­going to

private investors.

“The amended act should apply to new mining licences and all those

who seek to renew their licences,” the document reads.

“In order to have a clear regulatory framework on this principle,

the South African government should place a moratorium on the issuing of

­licences until the act has been amended.”

But the National Union of Mineworkers – an affiliate of Cosatu –

wants the state mining ­company to own 31% of new mining investments and private

investors 49%, irrespective of race or gender, while it wants the remaining 20%

to be split equally between workers and ­rural or worker co-operatives.

The union, the biggest organiser in the mining sector, says the

company must be used to bolster state revenue, create jobs and drive industrial

­development through raw material beneficiation.

Indications at this stage are that the state-owned company will be

established by ­consolidating its mining interests through ­mineral rights and

those held mainly through the Industrial Development Corporation and Public

Investment Corporation. Between the two ­institutions, the state has interests

in companies such as diamond producer Alexkor, phosphate miner Foskor, iron ore

producer Kumba, ­petrochemicals group Sasol and ferrochrome producer Merafe


Nchakha Moloi, the chairperson of the South African Mining

Development Association, said the organisation was unfazed by the clamour for

the state to play a more influential role in the mining industry, including

owning mines and ­investing in exploration.

“The state must be clear why it wants to establish its own mining

company. The company must have a clear mandate and business plan. It must also

compete on a fair basis with private firms.

“It will not be fair on private investors to spend R200 million on

exploration, only for the state to come in to take 51% in the project. If the

state wants a bigger share in mining projects, it must be prepared to invest in


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