A proposed R7 billion gas plant in Nelson Mandela Bay, a manganese mine in the Kalahari and an innovative iron processing plant in Limpopo all have one thing in common – Russian money.
United Manganese of Kalahari is part-owned by Russian oligarch Viktor Vekselberg, previously the largest shareholder of Russian mining giant Rosal, through an opaque Cyprus-based trust, New African Manganese Investments, and was the first company in decades granted prospecting rights on land mostly owned by the state in 2005.
It has become the country's fourth-largest manganese miner and, in 2021, donated R5 million to the ANC. It is also part-owned by Chancellor House, the ANC's investment arm. Chancellor House Trust donated R15 million to the ANC in 2021.