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Shabangu: Nationalisation not viable

Feb 07 2012 10:54 Reuters

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Cape Town - The ANC will not nationalise mines as it is not viable for South Africa, Mineral Resources Minister Susan Shabangu said on Tuesday.

"I welcome the fact that the report of the ANC's task team on nationalisation has reinforced the [African National Congress's] earlier decisions that nationalisation is not a viable policy for South Africa," she said at the Mining Indaba in Cape Town.

"The ANC will adopt a policy position on this issue that is in the best interests of South Africa."

Shabangu blamed the mining sector for creating the debate about nationalisation by not implementing provisions of the Mining Charter and the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act.

She said this was because of, among others, the practice of fronting, where companies circumvented the Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment Act.

She said the nationalisation task team's finding was not a surprise.

"It demonstrates the consistent but pragmatic policy that has guided the ANC over many decades, including the period of the adoption of the Freedom Charter in 1955 and, even more recently, the period after 1994."

On Monday, Minister in the Presidency Trevor Manuel told Mining Indaba delegates that the industry needed policy-certainty.

"The mining sector is so fundamentally important as a platform to construct the [upliftment] transition that we can't be able to take this idea of nationalisation forward," he said.

"If some doomsayer comes along and generates another lie [about nationalisation], don't believe them."

The government would rather look to partnerships with the private sector to uplift the sector through education, improved working conditions and more rights, he said.
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