Johannesburg – The Gauteng ANC plans to table a Zimbabwe-style policy that could see government forcing mining houses to sell shares in a move that could be construed as a subtle form of nationalisation.
According to the Sunday Independent, the proposal will call for the state to buy a 49% stake in mining companies and if successful it might see the review of the mining charter – which has a target of 26% black ownership by the end of this year.
In addition to this, the party is also set to propose the formation of a state-owned bank – and have it fund black entrepreneurs and SMMEs.
These proposals are expected to be tabled next month at the party’s provincial conference. Should it garner enough support it could go all the way to the ANC national general council scheduled for next year.
Radical economic transformation
The newspaper states that this move appears to be a response to the Economic Freedom Fighters’ call for radical economic reforms including nationalisation of mines and banks.
However, late last year the Chamber of Mines of SA said that the mining industry was the most transformed of all the country’s major industries.
According to the then outgoing president Mike Cutifani, the industry’s achievements on procurement from previously disadvantaged South Africans ranged from 39% to 67% on capital goods and services – against a target of 20% to 50%.
He said progress was being made across all pillars of the mining charter, ranging from ownership to housing and management transformation.
He said work stability was however, paramount, adding that this had been “seriously damaged by the shock of the Marikana tragedy, an event that caused a little bit of the industry and a little bit of South Africa to die”.
He went on to say that there was a fictitious perception that most of the money earned from the industry leaves South Africa and finds its way into the hands of foreigners and institutions. This was not however, the case, he said.
Total mining income was slightly more that R497bn in 2012 while total expenditure amounted to R488bn, more than 80% of which was spent in the country.