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Ramaphosa rules out nationalisation of mines

President Cyril Ramaphosa said a new Mining Charter would be drafted within the next three months.

South Africa's new president Cyril Ramaphosa delivers a speech after being elected by the Members of Parliament in Cape Town, on 15 February 2018. Picture: Bertram Malgas/EWN

CAPE TOWN - President Cyril Ramaphosa has ruled out the nationalisation of mines which do not comply with the mining charter.

Answering questions in the National Assembly on Wednesday afternoon, Ramaphosa said a new Mining Charter would be drafted within the next three months, after the Chamber of Mines last month agreed to halt its court challenge against the reviewed charter.

While the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) has suggested that mines which don’t comply with the charter should be nationalised, Ramaphosa says while tempting, the fiscus cannot afford to capitalise such a risky operation.

The president says a new Mining Charter must address the role that black South Africans and particularly women, should play in the industry.

He says mineworkers also need to be given a greater role in decision making.

“The South African mining industry needs to be attractive to investors through a Mining Charter that offers certainty, stability and has a clear transformational path.”

The EFF’s Mbuyiseni Ndlozi has suggested mining companies be expropriated without compensation for not complying with the charter.

“If they don’t give communities opportunities, they don’t improve housing, they don’t give workers skills...there are no punishments.”

Ramaphosa says while a tempting suggestion, the mining industry is a wasteful asset and not one for “sissies”.