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Shabangu: Nationalisation bad for mining

Sep 27 2012 17:01 Sapa

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Johannesburg - Nationalisation would harm the mining industry, Mineral Resources Minister Susan Shabangu told business on Thursday.

"The minister confirmed that nationalisation would be harmful to the mining industry specifically, and to the economy broadly, and that (it) is not a policy consideration," said the SA Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Sacci).

CEO Neren Rau said in a statement, after the minister addressed a Sacci breakfast: "She also confirmed that the state-owned mining entity would compete on an equal platform with the rest of the industry."

The ruling African National Congress has suggested the adoption of a policy that rejects "wholesale nationalisation" in favour of "strategic nationalisation".

This was according to recently released recommendations from its national policy conference in June.

The ANC favoured state intervention in the minerals sector, with a focus on beneficiation or transforming minerals into a higher-value product.

"At the forefront of this intervention should be the strengthening of the recently created state mining company, by consolidating state mining assets into a single institution," the ANC said.

"This state mining company will expand or contract depending on the balance of evidence, including by partnering with the private sector in strategic mining ventures."

According to Rau, Shabangu "confirmed that the state-owned mining entity would compete on an equal platform with the rest of the industry".

The minister said the department of mineral resources would ensure that the fundamentals in the mining sector were right, while pursuing beneficiation, Rau said.

Amendments to the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act were at an advanced stage.

"The purpose of the amendments is to remove ambiguities that create room for multiple interpretations of the law and the streamlining of regulatory requirements for mineral development," Rau said.

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