Mines nationalization not South Africa's policy: Zuma

Reuters News
Posted: Feb 10, 2012 1:58 AM
Mines nationalization not South Africa's policy: Zuma

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - South African President Jacob Zuma said on Friday nationalizing mines was not the policy of his African National Congress (ANC)government, as he sought to lay to rest speculation over government intentions for the mining industry.

"We have answered this question many times, we are very clear ... nationalization is not ANC or government policy," he said in answer to a question during a televised breakfast briefing. "Our policy is mixed economy," he added.

Senior members of the Zuma administration have been trying to quash the idea - raised by the radical youth league of the ruling ANC - of mine nationalization in the world's largest platinum producer.

Two cabinet members told a global mining conference in Cape Town this week that nationalization was not a viable option.

A mining sector study submitted to the ANC leadership this month rejected nationalization as an "unmitigated disaster." It proposed a 50 percent tax on mining profits as a way to help the poor better benefit from South Africa's mineral riches.

(Reporting by Tiisetso Motsoeneng; Editing by Pascal Fletcher)