Do debate nationalisation

YAWN... Let me enter the fray and hopefully be a useful in assisting to shape the debate about the nationalisation of mines.

YAWN... Let me enter the fray and hopefully be a useful in assisting to shape the debate about the nationalisation of mines.

I agree with Cosatu that current economic policies have not done enough to dismantle apartheid's economic fundamentals.

This should prompt our government to look for a new economic growth path that will lift the poor out of debilitating unemployment, poverty and other social ills 16 years after the demise of the most oppressive system in the world against the black race.

It is of no use pontificating about investors' fears and our good economic policies when the majority are poverty-stricken and there is no clear agenda on how to lift them out of their misery.

The Mineral Petroleum Resources Development Act (MPRDA) of 2002 states: "The Act makes provision for equitable access to and sustainable development of the nation's minerals and petroleum resources; Affirming state's obligation to promote economic and social development; Reaffirming the state's commitment to reform to bring about equitable access to SA's minerals; Considering the state's obligation under the Constitution to take legislative and other measures to redress the results of past racial discrimination."

Critics of nationalisation say the state is already involved in regulating the licensing, exploration and mining of resources and promoting economic and social development . But this is untrue. The mining industry has been reluctant to fulfil some of the commitments in their Social and Labour Plans.

The Kumba Iron Ore (KIO) report, commissioned to probe transformation in mining, revealed damning findings. The gross value of black share holdings was 5,27percent of the total R1,8 trillion market capitalisation of the JSE's Top 25 mining companies at the end of March 2010.

It said stakeholders had in the mining charter, committed to achieving 15percent black ownership by 2009 and 26percent by 2014.

The report found that the BEE Market Cap in the Top 25 companies was at R98 billion. This figure did not take into account the debts incurred by black shareholders, KIO said.

South Africa is identified as the wealthiest country in the world in terms of mineral deposits and reserves . This makes the ANCYL nationalisation call very relevant and necessary . Valuable lessons can be learnt from many African countries . In Botswana and Ghana nationalisation was messed up.

The ANCYL fact-finding missions are commendable and should be applauded. We need to elevate the debate so that we are able to lift millions out of poverty. Anything else makes a mockery of the Freedom Charter's "the people shall share in the country's wealth".

Patrick Rampai, Klerksdorp