Johannesburg, South Africa — MININGREVIEW.COM — 01 February 2010 – The youth wing of South Africa’s ruling African National Congress wants the government to nationalise the country’s mines and metal smelters, and to do so in some cases without compensation.
At a congress over the past two days the ANC Youth League has been discussing bringing all mineral operations “’ including exploration, extraction, production, processing, trading and using the commodities to make finished products “’ under the control of a newly-formed state mining company, it said in a 21-page draft document obtained by Bloomberg News. This would involve such owners as Anglo American Plc and BHP Billiton Limited, which own mines and metal smelting assets in the country.
“Nationalisation may involve expropriation with or without compensation,” the youth league said in the document. League spokesman Floyd Shivambu declined to comment when called on his mobile phone.
Under the proposed policy, nationalisation would involve state ownership ranging from 51% to full control of assets. The new mining company would “operate differently” from existing state-owned companies such as power utility Eskom Holdings Limited, and would not be driven by profit, according to the document.
BHP spokesman Johnny Dladla declined to comment when reached by telephone, and Anglo American spokesman Pranill Ramchander didn’t immediately respond to a message left on his mobile phone.
Nationalisation would increase the state’s fiscal capacity, improve working conditions and drive industrialisation, according to the draft. The document also includes a proposal to amend the Minerals and Petroleum Resources Development Act, which regulates the industry, to give the state not less than 60% ownership of assets.