RULLING S. AFRICAN ANC PLANS MINING FIRM


South Africa’s ruling ANC plans to set up a state mining firm after next week’s election, but nationalising mineral assets is not on the agenda, a top official of the African National Congress said.

new-ancLed by presidential frontrunner Jacob Zuma, the ANC is expected to retain its dominance in the April 22 general election with a promise to do more for the poor in the major metals producer but also to maintain business-friendly policies.

ANC Secretary-General Gwede Mantashe, a former mine workers leader who also chairs the ANC’s Communist Party ally, said a state mining firm would create jobs and help Africa’s biggest economy benefit more from its mineral wealth.

“Having a state mining company is distinct from nationalisation. It will compete with other companies in mining,” he told Reuters, adding it would also renew a focus on local processing.

“To sell gold or iron ore in raw form undermines our mining industry. We sell less value like raw iron ore and buy products such as steel at a higher cost.”

But signs of greater state involvement in the sector, which accounts for 7 percent of gross domestic product and nearly half a million jobs, could raise concerns among investors wary of any shift to the left under Zuma. South Africa is the world’s top source of platinum and No. 3 gold producer.

SOURCED FROM REUTERS


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