Perth - South Africa's institutions provide protection for
foreign investors in the resources sector, Mining Minister Susan Shabangu said on
Wednesday, seeking to reassure about the stability of the sector after a recent
wave of labour unrest and deadly violence.
Shabangu made the comment on a trip to
Australia after clashes between workers and police killed 44 people earlier
this month and shut ore output at mines run by Lonmin [JSE:LON], the world's
third-largest producer of platinum.
"We urge our investors, incumbent and prospective, to
take comfort in the solid foundation set by our constitution, government, legal
and civil institutions," Shabangu told a gathering of mining executives
and African officials in Perth.
"The president and people of South Africa are
determined to isolate bad elements in our society that are seemingly committed
to undermine the democratic gains of the country to date," she added.
Platinum miner Lonmin said on Tuesday only 8% of workers had
reported for duty at its South African operations as it struggles to restart
shafts halted for over two weeks.
Minister Shabangu also said the question of nationalisation
in South Africa's mining sector would be put to bed at the end of the year.
The ANC had been expected to rule on a drive to nationalise
the country's mines earlier this year.
But the policy still remains unclear although "blanket
nationalisation" - a sweeping buyout that would cost the state $132bn -
and a windfall tax appear to be off the table.
"That debate will reach its conclusions within the
ruling party in 2012," Shabangu said.
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