ANC wants mining laws changed to ‘prevent resources leaving SA’

2015-09-08 14:53
ANC provincial secretary Sihle Zikalala announced KwaZulu-Natal’s position on mining, saying that the ANC “needs to engage seriously on how to alter property relations in the country”. Picture: Tebogo Letsie/City Press

ANC provincial secretary Sihle Zikalala announced KwaZulu-Natal’s position on mining, saying that the ANC “needs to engage seriously on how to alter property relations in the country”. Picture: Tebogo Letsie/City Press

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The ANC in KwaZulu-Natal wants mining laws changed to force companies extracting minerals to start up manufacturing plants in South Africa to create jobs and boost the economy.

It believes that the proposal – which it will table at the ruling party’s national general council in October – will prevent resources from leaving the country without South Africans gaining much in the way of jobs in the process.

Provincial secretary Sihle Zikalala announced the province’s position on mining – it is the first to do so ahead of the national general council – as President Jacob Zuma and Minerals and Resources Minister Ngoako Ramatlhodi met with mining houses and unions at a state mining indaba in Pretoria.

Zikalala said the proposals had been made at a weekend lekgotla of the ANC’s provincial executive committee, which had been called to consolidate provincial positions ahead of its own provincial general council later this month.

He said that the ANC “needs to engage seriously on how to alter property relations in the country”.

“Without negating the principle of a mixed economy, the ANC should ensure that any company that trades through minerals and any raw materials in South Africa should build its plants in the country and no raw materials should leave the country without being processed into final products,” said Zikalala.

He said the ANC believed a policy change, along with the creation of a state mining company, would boost job creation in the mining sector.

Other key proposals from the meeting included cost cutting at government functions at all levels by doing away with VIP services, including VIP catering and holding rooms, and shaving the size of overseas delegations.

The government should be encouraged to spend more on “front-line services” than on upper management and cut the dependence on consultants, building its own conference centres and offices rather than renting them.

“The government should consider reducing its spending at management level and invest more in lower levels, which are at the coalface of service delivery where people interact directly with the government on a daily basis,” he said

“Our country is a developmental state, which should ensure that there is efficiency at all times. The government must continue to build the capacity of the state to directly deliver rather than outsource services,” he said.

The department of public works should “stop renting offices” and build government precincts to house government departments throughout the province. Costs could be cut even more if local and provincial government were to share these state-owned spaces.

The provincial executive committee also wanted local councils to move away from an executive-committee system to an mayor-committee system.

He said the ANC’s eThekwini region, which had been unable to hold its conference for more than a year, would hold its conference in October – after Luthuli House had ordered that the process of branch general meetings to nominate delegates be held again.

The province had introduced special regulations to allow for the summary suspension of members who disrupted meetings or arrived armed.

The provincial elective conference, which needed to be held before next May, would be held this November to avoid a clash with the local government elections.

Read more on:    anc  |  mining

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