Nationalisation backers 'wasted chances'

2012-10-12 09:44

Johannesburg - The people calling for the nationalisation of the country's mines were economically empowered, and had wasted the money lent to them to acquire that ownership, Mineral Resources Minister Susan Shabangu said on Thursday night.

"When we formulated the policy of black participation, most of our brothers, when they were supposed to create that... bought Range Rovers," she said.

"That was not a handout, but a loan by financial institutions for you to buy a stake [within the mining industry] and grow... but what did they do? They bought huge homes."

Shabangu was speaking at the Young Communist League of SA's (YCLA's) open dialogue on the mining sector and opportunities for young people in the sector at the University of Johannesburg.

Also under discussion were the ownership of South African mines and the problems which led to 46 deaths during a strike at Lonmin's Marikana platinum mine in Rustenburg.

Shabangu questioned the logic in calling for the nationalisation of mines when most of them had been mined for a long time.

"If the state takes over, some [mines] have already been mined for over 100 years... government would be taking on debt and the liability to rehabilitate... for example mines like Aurora."

She has repeatedly dismissed talks of nationalisation, saying on Thursday that those who were calling for it wanted to own mines at the expense of mineworkers.

She said the businesses of those who had benefited from black participation had gone under when the global financial crisis struck in 2009.

"They said: 'When we nationalise, government is going to pay us, then we'll be off the hook'."

They thought they would be given about R40bn if the government nationalised the mines.

She acknowledged that there were too few black CEOs in the mining industry and that transformation was needed, but said it had to be correctly done.

"You can't count them [black CEOs]. They are not even more than 10 because of the past. We've stifled the growth of the black child."

Shabangu said that instead of hoping to benefit from nationalisation, young people should acquire skills they could use in the mining sector, to play a role in the economy.

She said South Africans would feel the negative effect of the illegal strikes across the mining sector next year.

"We have lost 37% of our trading partners from Europe.... This action [the strikes] will cause a big bang... a negative bang."

YCLSA national secretary Buti Manamela said Shabangu should be more concerned about the "people" rather than investors.

"Its not investors who elect government, its the people who elect government," he said.

He agreed that young people had to arm themselves with skills before being part of the mining sector.

Manamela said it was unacceptable that shareholders of mines such as Aurora were living in luxury while the workers at the same mines were starving.

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  • winifred.watson.9 - 2012-10-12 10:04

    It is obvious that these people cannot manage and be trusted with money. They believe they have the right to abuse the taxpayes money without having to account for it, they believe it is their rights and this is the same message they are passing down to the poor. They have the right to take away from people who have worked hard for their money and take it and give it to them, because it is their right. How can you blame them or even try to educate them, when every day they see how ministers and officials are just flaunting the wealth in their very faces, it is not hard to see that when Mr. Julius comes along spewing lies they believe him because he thinks he is the great messiah sent to rescue the poor, when infact they need to lynch him because he has stolen from them, the very people he promises economic freedom. He is set up for life, he is black and politically connected, so what is it to him, he wont be affected. Same as Mugabe supporters, they still living a good life while the zimbabwe ordinary people starve. This guy need to see the inside of jail or somebody needs to pot him. Then again, one wonders whether the ANC are liking this diversion because at the moment they are setting themselves up incase they should fall so they too busy trying to cover their tracks, for just incase.

      thandiwe.ngema.71 - 2012-10-12 12:10

      We need to attract more investors like Brazil has. Brazil has halved its poverty and its unemployment. I run a company that makes pumps and seals and I need an investor so I can move to a bigger site and employ 80 instead of 3. I have to buy new equipment as well and I need investors. Sadly an investor from Britain who sees potential in my company wants to wait and see if South Africa stabilizes or descends into a failed country. They won't risk their money unless things ate secure. They invest money on behalf of a pension company after all and they won't want to lose people's retirement money! We need to attract investment...

      darren.raath.5 - 2012-10-12 15:15

      lol.they bought landrovers with their borrowed money. typical. the first thing these emerging contractors also do with their first payout is go buy a larny car.never mind about paying their suppliers.

      wwrer.ww - 2012-10-13 06:16

      Mining is only 5% of a modern economy. You cannot build a successful country, just on mining alone. So your damaging your economy, for nothing. Your damaging investor faith in 95% of the economy, for nothing. You gain nothing. Julius Malema gains a mine, the rest of the economy suffers. And this might just be the slippery slope to Zimbabwe's situation where everything eventually is grabbed. 90% unemployment, a worthless currency. Foreigners deny loans. 95% of a modern economy such as China, Japan, the US is non-mining businesses.

  • sakhi.TheNextKent.dlala - 2012-10-12 10:09

    Amen @ RAnge-Rovers and big homes...but wait, isn't this part of what you guys (Ministers) are doing?? The pot calling the kettle black???

  • irvin.mkhari - 2012-10-12 10:11

    who care about investors,what about our people who work in the mines who earn nothing while mine bosses earn huge amount.

      remi.preez - 2012-10-12 10:18

      Without initial investors you won't have a company and ultimately jobs for workers.

      desertratbkf - 2012-10-12 10:38

      Shows you how this halfwit and millions like him, think. No logic!

      clive.toerien - 2012-10-12 12:48

      no one is forcing them to work there if they don't like the pay they can go look for a another job, I getting peanuts compared to my boss and you don't see me killing people and trashing everything

      SarelJBotha - 2012-10-12 12:53

      They can do like many other have done and still do: Hold down more than one job. They can also bugger off and find something better, or still better, study and then aim for a batter paid job.

      roy.hart.54 - 2012-10-12 13:58

      You do not no what you are talking about,the minners are over paid and produce the least,worst laziest miners in the world,the owners of mines take the risk's,have to find money to pay bills because of theft,strikes,looting,cable theft,illegal mining practices on there mines,we should import labor from Chine etc,then our mines will produce! We went from no1 Gold producer to no5 and dropping under the ANC!

      michael.heys.3 - 2012-10-12 15:08

      What a twit you are. Don't you know who creates companies and jobs? It's investors you fool.

  • kaapse.skollie.7 - 2012-10-12 10:15

    I don't buy talk that the mines are depleted. UK secretary Vincent Cable says UK investors remain committed to the mines, and they hope the strike will be short term. Brits are still cashing in. But so much for nationalisation... Buying Land Rovers! If that's the case, we may as well continue to be robbed by the Brits than our BEE fatcats.

  • neil.harris.370177 - 2012-10-12 10:28

    yawn!!!!!! sorry what? are we still on this debate? is the mine argument still raging? Amazing how people think mines are the sure fire way to get rich! maybe so but without the expertise you will see you Arse..... Personally I would also have a range rover than a mine because I wouldn't know what the hell to do with a mine. Jokes aside now! these idiots need to be given a mine as a "pilot" project, lets see how long it will take before the 10 000 miners are fired and the assets are sold on auction and the mine closes. We saw this in Zimbabwe, "we want the fertile land so we can farm" well they got the land and agriculture got a single gunshot to the head. If you cant plant a crop and make it viable without the skill, what makes you think mining and benficiating ore is a walk in the park!!! fools

      kaapse.skollie.7 - 2012-10-12 11:50

      Spot-on. That will always be the outcome. Government should upskill people before awarding them mining empowerment deals. But we know the ANC's attitude to education.

  • daniel.machet - 2012-10-12 10:29

    I think we've missed a trick... Shabangu and Madonsela have shone through the party hubris... yet its Mothlanthe and Zuma who are competing for leadership? I hate to stereotype but throughout Africa, its women at the forefront of Economic development.

      christiaan.vanvuuren.9 - 2012-10-12 11:24


      ndlovuvincent - 2012-10-12 11:30

      Absolutely Daniel,name others as well,Hellen Zille,Nkosazana Zuma,Patricia Dellile, Nomvula Monkonyane and Zanele Magwaza Msibi.South Africa should be proud to have them.

      helio.paulo.7 - 2012-10-12 12:03

      Absolutely, and the sooner we get a female president, the sooner we will have someone committed to her people instead of her pockets!!!!

      maruis.kleynhans - 2012-10-13 07:29

      I agree, as long useless Angie's name is among them

  • pamela.jacobs.509 - 2012-10-12 10:36

    Thank You Susan Shabangu for speaking the truth.

  • tumisang.kolobe - 2012-10-12 10:58

    Nonsense,Shabangu is on a mining payroll,there are currrntly now about 700 news mining permits being processed by Shabangu”s minerals department, and yet here she claims that the mines have been depleted to resources, that’s absolute nnonsense,we not giving any shareholder any money we just take the 50% stake in the mine like venezuela

      helio.paulo.7 - 2012-10-12 12:04

      Go to school and learn something please before you embarass yourself....

      SarelJBotha - 2012-10-12 12:56

      I work with people from Venesuela, in Angola, as in their own country there is no real prospects. Wake up and do not believe all the things your hear from ideologically challenged idiots.

      roy.hart.54 - 2012-10-12 14:41

      Who is we??? and just take?? we live in a democracy ?? or is it Socialism yet?Comrade idiot!!!

  • gerrit.vanpletzen - 2012-10-12 11:15

    That's right. Ms. Shabangu, tell them the truth they don't want to hear. Make sure that these people start at the bottom and work themselves up to the top. Equip them with the tools of the trade. If you start somebody at the top with no clue what he/she is doing, you can only expect a fiasco. Only well diggers start at the top.

  • SarelJBotha - 2012-10-12 12:52

    Bhuti should rather go and get a real job. He adds no value to any society as things stand now.

  • J.Stephen.Whiteley - 2012-10-12 13:53

    A mixed bag of frustration and frankness. Not written by Mac.

  • jan.vos.353 - 2012-10-12 16:03

    Well said Susan, why didn't you guys come out with statemnets like these when that useless irritating freak of a Malema made his statements on nationalisation.

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