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Reject mines grab, urges chamber

Nov 01 2011 13:21 Sapa

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Cape Town -  Nationalisation is an obsolete, unsuccessful intervention that must be rejected, the president of the SA Chamber of Mines said on Tuesday.

Xolani Mkhwanazi, chairperson of mining company BHP Billiton SA, said the topic had become "a most effective scarecrow" in major investment communities.

"I would like to categorically state here that the chamber... is emphatically opposed to nationalisation," he told the chamber's annual general meeting.

"Existing evidence makes it clear that for the most part nationalisation is an obsolete, unsuccessful intervention that must be rejected."

Mkhwanazi stressed that the chamber represented companies providing more than 90% of the country's minerals.

Mining companies were deeply indebted to Mineral Resources Minister Susan Shabangu, who "both home and abroad" had said that nationalisation was not government policy.

"Her utterances received support last week in views expressed by the Minister of Finance Pravin Gordhan, and the Minister in the Presidency Trevor Manuel," Mkhwanazi said.

"Unfortunately it is an issue that retains a high-profile presence in the political and economic arena, emphasised once again last Thursday in the protest action organised by the ANC Youth League, and it has become a most effective scarecrow in major investment communities."

He said a specially-convened high-level group had concluded that there were many far more effective interventions that government could make to deliver relief to the unemployed.
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