Phosa swipes at Zwane’s new Mining Charter – ‘SA needs foreign investment’

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 Mathews Phosa. Picture: Theana Breugem/NUUS-NOORD
Mathews Phosa. Picture: Theana Breugem/NUUS-NOORD

South Africa was in dire need of a strong growing economy and that one way of achieving this is “to allow for foreign direct investment in our economy”. This was said by presidential hopeful, Dr Matthews Phosa, in his address to delegates at the Vision 2030 Summit this morning.

“We all know that investment and growth, in that order, go hand in hand,” Phosa said in reference to Mining Minister Mosebenzi Zwane’s new Mining Charter.

Zwane revealed, at very short notice, the new charter on Thursday. It contained many new rules that would significantly subordinate existing white and foreign shareholders in South African mines – very likely forcing them to dilute their ownership.

READ: Zwane drops mining bombshell

The summit, held at Birchwood Conference Centre, had brought together public and private sector in an effort to pave a way forward for the implementation of the National Development Plan.

Phosa mentioned that constant tinkering and changing of the rules of the game negatively affect our economy.

“Destructive and sudden structural policy reforms, such as those included in the new mining charter, will bring investment flight and a risk of further economic slowdown in the economy,” he said.

The presidential-hopeful stated five ways South Africa could achieve success in this regard:

- Political stability and policy certainty;

- See the Constitution in the context of the Freedom Charter;

- Corrupt leaders must be held accountable and exemplary ones praised;

- Creation of economic growth; and

- [The creation of] a recovery plan, which would be the advancement of the National Development Plan.

Phosa also touched on specific reforms, that if implemented would benefit the economy. These include:

  • Re-engineering the labour markets to ensure competition and dramatically enhanced access to skills;
  • Critically evaluating public sector efficiencies and reducing the size and impact that the cost of public sector wages has on the budgets of the three tiers of our government. We need smaller government to create bigger wealth participation;
  • Evaluating all our state owned enterprises, turning those around that we need for assisting our economy and society to develop and grow and where necessary, closing the doors of those corrupt institutions that are robbing us of our scarce resources;
  • Fundamentally reform the education and health care systems to ensure that we have an educated and healthy labour force, aligned with the needs of our economy; and
  • Critically evaluating all expenditure in our national, provincial and local government budgets, removing expenditure on items that are not in the national interest.

Below, Phosa speaks about the secret ballot and his chances of becoming president:

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