Perth, Australia — 29 August 2012 – South Africa’s institutions provide protection for foreign investors in the resources sector, the country’s mining minister has said, seeking to provide reassurance on the stability of the sector after a recent wave of labour unrest and deadly violence.
Reuters reports that minister Susan Shabangu made the comment on a trip to Australia after clashes between workers and police had resulted in the deaths of 44 people earlier this month leading to shut ore output at mines run by Lonmin, the world’s third-largest producer of platinum.
“We urge our investors, incumbent and prospective, to take comfort in the solid foundation set by our constitution, government, legal and civil institutions,” Shabangu told a gathering of mining executives and African officials here.
“The president and people of South Africa are determined to isolate bad elements in our society that are seemingly committed to undermine the democratic gains of the country to date,” she added.
Platinum miner Lonmin says only 8% of workers reported for duty at its South African operations today as it struggles to restart shafts halted for over two weeks.
Minister Shabangu also said the question of nationalisation in South Africa’s mining sector would be put to bed at the end of the year.
South Africa’s ruling African National Congress (ANC) had been expected to rule on a drive to nationalise the country’s mines earlier this year.
But the policy still remains unclear, although “blanket nationalisation” “’ a sweeping buyout that would cost the state US$132 billion “’ and a windfall tax appear to be off the table.
“That debate will reach its conclusions within the ruling party in 2012,” Shabangu said.
Source: Reuters Africa. For further information, click here.