RADEBE LOOKS TO MIN­ING

CityPress - - Business - LESETJA MALOPE lesetja.malope@city­press.co.za

Min­is­ter in the Pres­i­dency Jeff Radebe said gov­ern­ment had failed to use the min­ing sec­tor to ef­fect trans­for­ma­tion in the coun­try’s econ­omy.

Ad­dress­ing the Black Busi­ness Coun­cil at a round ta­ble event this week in Sand­ton, Radebe said though min­ing’s share of GDP had de­clined, it re­mained an im­por­tant tool in gov­ern­ment hands.

“Min­ing is still a strate­gic sec­tor. You can­not think of South Africa with­out min­ing,” he said, adding that the re­vised Min­ing Char­ter would be fi­nalised and re­leased for public com­ment soon.

The Min­ing Char­ter is pro­vided for by sec­tion 100 of the Min­eral and Pe­tro­leum Resources De­vel­op­ment Act to fa­cil­i­tate trans­for­ma­tion of the min­ing in­dus­try and, ac­cord­ing to Radebe, it has given more power to gov­ern­ment to ef­fect change. Radebe also urged busi­ness to not be a by­stander and to push gov­ern­ment to im­ple­ment ex­ist­ing poli­cies. “The Na­tional De­vel­op­ment Plan is not a gov­ern­ment-only plan; it’s for the en­tire coun­try. That is why we want ac­tive cit­i­zenry to be part of it. We want the Black Busi­ness Coun­cil and other or­gan­i­sa­tions to hold us ac­count­able,” he said. “Black peo­ple do not ben­e­fit from min­eral resources, which are over­whelm­ingly owned by large, white­owned com­pa­nies. The top 49 listed min­ing com­pa­nies have a com­bined mar­ket cap­i­tal­i­sa­tion of R2.6 tril­lion.

If all the top 49 listed min­ing com­pa­nies had 26% his­tor­i­cally dis­ad­van­taged own­er­ship as re­quired by the Min­ing Char­ter, the value of black em­pow­er­ment par­tic­i­pa­tion would have been R669 bil­lion in 2014,” Radebe said, point­ing out that, to date, only 2.5% (R63.9 bil­lion) of the 49 top com­pa­nies be­long to black peo­ple.

Radebe, who also sits in the na­tional work­ing com­mit­tee of the ANC, shied away from delv­ing into de­tails of his opin­ions on the pos­si­ble rea­sons for South Africa’s re­cent credit down­grade, with his only men­tion be­ing in the open­ing ad­dress of his pre­sen­ta­tion where he sim­ply said the econ­omy and pol­i­tics had be­come in­ter­twined.

In his pre­sen­ta­tion, Radebe also said the fi­nan­cial ser­vices sec­tor re­mained the most un­trans­formed with al­most no ex­is­tence of ma­jor black play­ers and that the trans­fer of land had also been slow.

Among the pan­el­lists dur­ing the event were Statis­ti­cian-Gen­eral Pali Le­hohla and act­ing di­rec­tor-gen­eral in the min­istry of mon­i­tor­ing and eval­u­a­tion Tshediso Ma­tona.

PHOTO: JAC­QUE­LYN GUILLEN

Min­is­ter in the Pres­i­dency Jeff Radebe ad­dress­ing mem­bers of the Black Busi­ness Coun­cil at a round ta­ble event on Thurs­day

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