Cosatu: Nationalisation Talks Crucial

by Sep 16, 2010All Articles

14 September 2010

Johannesburg – The nationalisation of mines debate started “wrongly” and in the “wrong place”, Congress of SA Trade Unions general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi said in Johannesburg on Tuesday.

“It has been narrowed… it does an injustice to an otherwise very necessary discussion about the role of the state in the economy,” Vavi said at the launch of Cosatu’s Strategy for a New Economic Growth Path document.

The ANCYL and its president, Julius Malema, have been calling for nationalisation of South African mines, and have pushed for the issue to be included in discussions at the ANC’s upcoming national general council.

“If we can let the demagogues win the discussion, which is based on a singular, narrow focus on the mines, instead of looking at the state broadly and nationalisation broadly, then we can only give rise to the criticism that says… that all these people are interested in is to lay their hands on the mineral resources for accumulation,” Vavi said, in a swipe at the league.

He said an important discussion like nationalisation could therefore be discredited.

Cosatu in its discussion document proposed nationalisation be looked at in the context of the strategic role the state should play in key sectors of the economy.

“If you read the documents in relation to all the areas we propose the state must take a strategic interest in, they relate to the economy where there are existing monopolies which we need broken up,” he said.

Cosatu believed that through state intervention, resources could be “liberated”.

“In relation to the area of mining… we are not necessarily calling for nationalisation of all the mines in South Africa. We don’t think that’s a realistic proposal. But we do say that we need a state that can have a company that can intervene in the strategic minerals.” – Sapa

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