Get more Mail & Guardian
Subscribe or Login

DA accuses ANC of ‘nationalisation by stealth’

There is little doubt, according to the opposition Democratic Alliance (DA), that the African National Congress (ANC) is trying to advance its agenda of nationalisation by stealth.

Hendrik Schmidt, the party spokesperson on mining, pointed out on Monday that a state-owned mining company, the African Exploration Mining and Finance Corporation (AEMFC), which lay dormant for 63 years, has been reinvigorated, given a new mission in life and now been given mining and prospecting rights.

The Mining Minister, Susan Shabangu, said in a written answer to a parliamentary question that the company has been awarded one mining right and 27 prospecting rights.

“This is deeply significant,” Schmidt said. “It means the government now runs two state-owned mines: the diamond mine, Alexkor, and now the AEMFC.

“The creation of a mining company that is owned by the state, given its licences by the state [in a seemingly biased and untransparent process] and then operates on state business suggests the worst form of cynicism.

“Such practices should have no place in our economy. Given the track record of state mines, broadly speaking, they should have no place in our country as a whole either.”

Financial loss
Schmidt said that the company, like Alexkor, has been running at a substantial financial loss (R14-million for the 2009/10 year and R10-million rand for the previous year).

He noted that according to the AEMFC’s annual report, its “principal activity” is to “acquire, hold, exploit, develop and engage in mining operations”. The report says, among other things, the entity’s long-term strategy is to “diversify into non-strategic mineral resources” (compared to its current mandate, which is to assist Eskom and PetroSA in ensuring a secure supply of feedstock) and to “enter in regional markets [Botswana, Swaziland, Mozambique and Zimbabwe]”.

The reply to the parliamentary question “suggests that its transition from an empty shell to a fully second state-owned mine is now near completion”, Schmidt said, “and with it, the ANC government’s obsession with increasing its control over mining in South Africa.”

He added that in the past five years there has been substantial growth in the mining sector in other parts of the world, while South African mines have seen a lack of investment. “This has partially been a repercussion of this sector of the economy being used as a vehicle to achieve short-sighted, economically misguided, political agendas,” he said. — I-Net Bridge

Subscribe to the M&G

Thanks for enjoying the Mail & Guardian, we’re proud of our 36 year history, throughout which we have delivered to readers the most important, unbiased stories in South Africa. Good journalism costs, though, and right from our very first edition we’ve relied on reader subscriptions to protect our independence.

Digital subscribers get access to all of our award-winning journalism, including premium features, as well as exclusive events, newsletters, webinars and the cryptic crossword. Click here to find out how to join them.

Michael Hamlyn
Michael Hamlyn works from Cape Town. Late middle age journalist

Related stories


If you’re reading this, you clearly have great taste

If you haven’t already, you can subscribe to the Mail & Guardian for less than the cost of a cup of coffee a week, and get more great reads.

Already a subscriber? Sign in here


Subscribers only

Cape Flats gangsters, children die in fight over turf

Extortion rackets are part of a corrupt system that includes religious leaders, councillors, police and syndicates

Tobacco farmers want the taxman to do more to control...

The Black Tobacco Farmers’ Association the introduction of a minimum price level for cigarettes

More top stories

Cape Flats gangsters, children die in fight over turf

Extortion rackets are part of a corrupt system that includes religious leaders, councillors, police and syndicates

Father and son abandon gangs to start a project of...

After spending more than 40 years in a life of gangsterism, Ralph Haricombe’s life changed after his son asked him to change his life

Predators: Beauties or beasts?

How farmers perceive jackal and caracal — as ‘beautiful’ or ‘thieves’ — determines whether they will tolerate them on their livestock farms

Creecy taken to court over oil, gas plan

An environment group says its application is a ‘watershed’ case for stopping deep sea exploration

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…