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State miner precursor to nationalisation - Malema

Troye Lund | Wed, 26 May 2010 13:14

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[] -- A state owned mining company has to be created as a precursor to nationalising the country's mines and mineral wealth, ANC Youth League president Julius Malema told parliament on Wednesday.

"All mineral rights should be transferred to the state-owned mining company, which will from time to time make partnerships with private corporations where the state will hold a minimum of 60% shares," Malema said at public hearings to explore issues around the creation of a state-owned mining group.

"For the remainder of the 40%, the private companies should pay royalties and taxes."

Malema also called for a moratorium on the provision of mineral rights until the state mining group was up and running, and that the company should fall under the supervision of the department of mineral resources instead of the department of public enterprises.

"Nationalisation of mines will lead to greater local beneficiation, industrialisation, growth of the economy and jobs for the majority of our people," said Malema. He stressed strong accountability mechanisms are needed to ensure employees of the company did not redirect its resources for their own benefit.

He also argued government would never be able to achieve everything it had promised in terms of free education, housing and job creation if it relied solely on tax revenue.

While Malema stressed that the ANCYL were not approaching parliament as economists or mining experts, he said they were making the submission as political activists wanting to make an "intervention" that would bring about a "lasting solution in an economy that has failed to empower the majority of our people".

During the same hearing, the South African Mining Development Association (Samda) presented a detailed overview of the choices the government faces regarding state-owned enterprises.

Samda chairperson Nchakha Maloyi said there examples globally of minings groups that were completely state owned, or part owned.

He said the key difference between success and failure of any company – private or state owned – was the way its resources and assets were managed.

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