Shabangu: Constitution informs nationalisation debate

[] – MINES minister, Susan Shabangu, confirmed today a
morning meeting at the ANC’s National Executive Committee (NEC), but was unsure
whether it would review findings of a study reportedly rejecting nationalisation of
South Africa’s mining industry.

Business Day said that the report, commissioned by government last year, believed
nationalisation was unconstitutional and too expensive. It said the NEC would discuss
the report further.

Shabangu said the constitutionality of mines nationalisation would have a bearing on
the discussion. Shabangu said she hadn’t seen the report.

She added however: “The MPRDA (Minerals and Petroleum Resources Development
Act) already decided that mineral rights reside with the state.”

“I have not seen the report. I am going to the National Executive Committee (NEC)
meeting today, but I haven’t seen the agenda so I don’t know if we will discuss the

One argument sometimes marshalled against nationalisation is that mineral rights had
already been nationalised by the MPRDA, although lawyers argue the technical
questions as to whether the government’s ‘custodianship’ of minerals actually equals

Business Day said that the report had recommended taxes could be increased on the
industry while royalties would be lowered.

Shabangu said that “interested parties” use the media to push their own agendas. She
declined to comment on specifics of the report.

“It is a discussion. If they think this will work for South Africa, they have to say how,”
she said. “The issue of nationalisation is about what you want for South Africa.”