Nationalisation will not take place as there are too many leaders opposing its implementation, South African Chamber of Mines CEO Bheki Sibiya said at the recent African Mining Network end-of-year gala event.
He said nationalisation was being driven by the African National Congress Youth League (ANCYL) and its suspended leader, Julius Malema, and had been openly supported as well as publicly lobbied.
Meanwhile, the ANC has returned the long-awaited report on mine nationalisa- tion with policy recommen- dations, which considers how nationalisation or similar policies have been carried out in several other countries, for redrafting to improve its presentation.
South African miners and investors are interested to know what the report says as it could form the framework of South Africa’s future government mining policy in the world’s largest platinum producer.
ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe said party leaders wanted a document that was more accessible to rank-and-file members.
“The first draft has been tabled. We have sent it back on the basis of style. The work is finished but the report is being redrafted and refiled,” he said.
The report is expected to be complete early next year and raised at a major ANC policy conference in June.
There have been assurances from President Jacob Zuma and other Cabinet Ministers that nationalisation of the mines is not a policy of the ANC-led government.
Zuma said that what Malema was saying and proposing was not government’s policy, and assured that industry should not be shaken by Malema’s comments.
Mineral Resources Minister Susan Shabangu previously said mine nationalisation was “a wrong and dangerous question to ask in searching for the answer to South Africa’s evil triplets of poverty, inequality and unemployment”.
Further, Public Enterprises Minister Malusi Gigaba branded the mine nationali- sation demands of the ANCYL as “reckless” and “cheap” when addressing the American Chamber of Commerce, and Trade and Industry Minister Dr Rob Davies told the Swiss–South Africa Chamber of Commerce that expropriation without compensation was not only unconstitutional, but also a “remote” possibility, in that it would violate “tons of investment protection agreements” that South Africa had with a number of countries around the world.
South African Chamber of Mines president and chairperson of mining group BHP Billiton South Africa Xolani Mkhwanazi said nationalisation was an obsolete and unsuccessful intervention that must be rejected, adding that it had become “a most effective scarecrow” in leading investment communities.