Malema presses call for nationalisation of mines

African National Congress Youth League leader Julius Malema envisages a South Africa where the state owns 60% of all mines to “generate extra income” for the government.

“The nationalisation of mines will happen, the Freedom Charter says that,” Malema told reporters in Johannesburg on Tuesday.

The ruling African National Congress must have its mind made up about it in time for its next conference in 2012, said Malema.

An internal paper was already being drafted within the party for discussion, he said.

“We want the ANC in the conference in 2012 to pronounce what is the stand of the ANC on the nationalisation of mines ... we need a decisive leadership, we don’t want cowards,” said Malema.

However, he was quick to explain this did not mean the government would “grab already existing mines”.

“You don’t grab already existing mines, you allow ... their licences to expire.
With the new licence you issue, you have that element of majority shareholding by the state.

“As you issue from now, moving forward, you’re not giving 100% to the private sector, you’re going into a 60/40 partnership.”

He said a strategy was needed to see “how we do it without tampering with private ownership because there are laws that are binding us”.

Malema moved to assure those who were concerned that the government would not be capable of running mines, saying the private sector, owning 40%, would ensure that everything ran smoothly.

“The private sector will ensure that standards are not compromised,” said Malema.

“We are going to do this in partnership with the private sector, but with us being the majority.”

He also insisted that the ANC was not being hijacked by leftist elements.

The nationalisation of mines was necessary to generate income for the government so that it could fund free education and provide better services to the people, said Malema.

“There is a need for us to make an extra income ... and this extra income is in mines. This state can’t build hospitals, it can’t give people electricity, the pace is very slow because there is no money. We are relying only on tax.

“Where can we get extra money? It’s beneath the soil and this soil belongs to us.”—Sapa

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