Johannesburg, South Africa — MININGREVIEW.COM — 02 February 2010 – The militant youth wing of South Africa’s ruling ANC has reiterated that it would push for the nationalisation of local industries starting with mines, saying investors afraid of the process were not welcome.
Reuters reports that ANC Youth League leader Julius Malema has been one of the most vocal campaigners for a more leftist economic policy under President Jacob Zuma, demanding among other issues that the state should assume majority ownership of mines.
The country’s mines minister said last year that South Africa would not nationalise mines, although the African National Congress said it would allow debate on nationalisation.
Malema said the youth movement had drafted proposals to be presented to the ANC later this year, including amendments to the mineral and petroleum resources development act wherein the state should own not less than 60% of the shares.
“Our position is that banks are going to be nationalised, but we want to start first with the mines. Our position is inspired by the Freedom Charter,” Malema told a media briefing.
“If there is an investor who is afraid of our restructuring, they are not welcome,” Malema said.
In a statement, the youth league said nationalisation should be accompanied by a thorough transformation of state-owned enterprises, adding that it would involve expropriation ‘with or without compensation’.
These comments are likely to further unnerve investors already worried that Zuma could give in to pressure from labour union and communist allies who helped him to power last year and are demanding a swing to the left, away from existing pro-business policies, as payback.
“If any investor leaves here … other investors are going to come,” Malema insisted. “Investors must be aware we have a strong communist friend China… They will invest here, they will mine here.”