NUM Calls on ANC NGC to Broaden Nationalization Debate

by Aug 27, 2010All Articles

Press Release – 2010-08-25

The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) released its final position paper on Nationalisation. In its view, the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) does not support blanket or wholesale nationalization of mines but prefers the model based on “Strategic fund/Strategic equity.In terms of this model, a state mining company should be operationalised and used as a government vehicle to invest only in strategic minerals (Energy minerals- Platinum, Coal and Uranium, and Infrastructure minerals- Iron ore and manganese). The NUM believes that with the development and implementation of a beneficiation and mining strategy, the country could use platinum to develop more capacity on manufacturing of component parts for cars and jet engines.

The country could also nationalize Iron Ore mines and Arcelor Mittal to mitigate and cushion steel prices which will be beneficial in South Africa‘s industrialization programme.

“Thus our preference is that our nationalization model should encompass a majority shareholding position of 50% plus one and the establishment of joint ventures or partnerships of 25% equity plus one share” says Madoda Sambatha, the NUM ‘s Head of Parliamentary Affairs. “We further envisage broad based ownership for Historically Disadvantaged groups through dedicated mining unit trusts or employee share ownership programmes as enshrined in the mining charter” says Sambatha.

The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) argues that proceeds from such mining activities by the state should then be ring-fenced for education (20%) health (20%), Rural development (20%) as well as re-investment into the state mining company (40%).

The significant difference between the NUM perspective and the ANCYL‘s one is based on the premise that the NUM wants the ANC to take a resolution on Nationalisation as an Economic Policy Option of both the ANC and Government, then the issue of which sectors should not be a resolution but an implementation plan of the Nationalization resolution. This will ensure that  the ANC is not faced with a challenge in the future wherein it will have to take sectoral nationalization resolutions. The second difference is on the property clause. The NUM‘s view is that the amendment to this clause should also not be specific to the mines rather be broad to include other monopoly industries to ensure that in the future the state does not have to alter legislation to implement expropriation for each sector.


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