President Jacob Zuma 
Durban, South Africa — MININGREVIEW.COM — 20 September 2010 – In what has been interpreted as a reference to the nationalisation of mines in South Africa, President Jacob Zuma said here today that the national general council (NGC) of the African National Congress (ANC) was not the place to discuss new policies.

“We must not listen to the media and other people who say we are coming here to discuss new policies,” he said at the NGC conference.

He said the conference was aimed at reviewing progress on resolutions taken at the ANC national conference in Polokwane in 2007. “The NGC must not be treated as a policy conference,” Zuma added.

The ANC Youth League, led by Julius Malema, had been pushing for the nationalisation of mines to feature in discussions at the NGC with an aim of making it ANC policy in 2012 at its next national conference.

SA Communist Party deputy general secretary Jeremy Cronin said he believed Zuma was referring to the nationalisation of mines when he spoke about steering clear of new policies Cronin said nationalisation in general had to be addressed in the broader context of the South African economy.

“A full debate is needed on how to maximise South Africa’s natural resources for the benefit of all South Africans, and nationalisation was a small part of this debate,” Cronin added.

ANC spokesperson Brian Sokutu confirmed that nationalisation was not part of the Polokwane resolutions which had to be reviewed at the current gathering. He said it would have to go through internal ANC processes first, and would then be subjected to a debate at the party’s next policy conference. If accepted, it would only then be made a resolution at the national conference.