Rustenburg, South Africa — MININGREVIEW.COM — 12 October 2009 – The government of South Africa is unlikely to heed calls from the ruling African National Congress’s youth wing for the nationalisation of the country’s mines, according to central bank governor Tito Mboweni.
“I don’t think that argument is going to gain traction,” Mboweni said in an address at Phokeng, near here.
Bloomberg News reports that South Africa is the world’s biggest producer of platinum, chrome, vanadium and manganese, the third-largest gold miner and the largest source of coal for European power plants.
ANC Youth League leader Julius Malema saidrecently that the country’s mines would be nationalised because it was provided for in the ANC’s founding document, the South African Press Association reported. In July, he called on President Jacob Zuma to nationalise mines, a demand repeated by the Congress of South African Trade Unions.
“The discussion will obviously take place from time to time,” Mboweni said. “The loudest voice is not always the correct one.”
The unions and the youth league have argued that nationalisation became ANC policy when it adopted a document known as the Freedom Charter in 1955. While the ANC never officially distanced itself from the charter, it didn’t implement several of its resolutions. Zuma said in July that calls for nationalisation were just a debate.
“We’ve already gone through the difficult process of sorting out the issues of mining rights,” Mboweni said. “I don’t think we want to start another difficult issue again.”
After more than a decade as governor, Mboweni will leave his post next month, declining to serve a third term. Gill Marcus “’ a former central bank deputy governor and most recently chairwoman of Absa “’ will replace Mboweni next month.