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'SA mining business model outdated'

Gold Fields chairperson Mamphela Ramphele has raised concerns over South Africa’s mining sector.

Protesters from Lonmin's Marikana Mine carried traditional weapons as they demonstrated, demanding better wages. Picture: Taurai Maduna/EWN

CAPE TOWN - Renowned academic Mamphela Ramphele on Wednesday described the mining sector as "archaic", adding it is stuck with practices from the 18th and 19th century.

She was one of the keynote speakers at the Central and Eastern European Management Conference at the University of Stellenbosch in the Western Cape.

Ramphele said as the chairperson of Gold Fields, she recently travelled to Australia for business, where she realised that South Africa's mining sector is lagging behind, especially in technological innovation.

She said the South African mining business model has not been transformed for centuries.

Ramphele was also critical of management in the public sector.

The academic said a purely politically loyal leadership is stifling economic growth and crippling the public sector.

The mining industry has been in the news lately following numerous strikes at various mines.

Workers are demanding better salaries and improved living conditions.

Former ANC Youth League leader Julius Malema has been calling for the nationalisation of mines.

He believes this will help ordinary South Africans enjoy the country's wealth.