South Africa’s Chambers of Mines says it will not take controversial ANC Youth League president Julius Malema’s sentiments on nationalisation of mines seriously.
This follows the National Union of Mines (NUM)’s response on Monday to renewed threats by Malema to disrupt mine activities if the call to nationalise was not heeded.
It also comes at a time Zimbabwe is in overdrive to grab majority shareholding in mines under the indigenisation initiative.
NUM spokesperson Lesiba Seshoka accused Malema, who caused a stir in Zimbabwe when he visited the country earlier this year, of reckless utterances saying they would threaten the livelihoods and security of jobs of over 400 000 mineworkers employed in the industry.
“While the NUM supports state intervention in strategic sectors of the economy in order to alleviate dire poverty within the populace, we refuse to be blackmailed, indoctrinated and manipulated by juveniles,” Seshoka said.
“We strongly support the (ANC) National General Council’s resolution that proper research be done on the nationalisation concept and that such findings be presented to the ANC’s national conference in 2012.
“We however call on the ANC to provide the much needed leadership and to rein in on its youth wing to ensure that in the process, serious damage is not done to the reputation of the country and image of the South African mining industry in the face of the investor community.”
He added: “Such utterances create unnecessary tension and uncertainty among workers.
“As far as the NUM is concerned, no mining operation will be disrupted by anybody and we call on those who want to disrupt operations to come forward and do so.”
SA Chamber of Mines spokesperson Jabu Maphalala said his organisation would not comment on the statements.
But the chief executive officer, Mzolisi Diliza, said: “The chamber and its members are emphatically opposed to the nationalisation of the country’s mines.
“Nationalisation is an antiquated and universally discredited political practice that will have disastrous consequences for the national economy.”