JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – Eight out of every ten South Africans benefited “directly and literally” from mining, outgoing Chamber of Mines of South Africa president Mark Cutifani said on Tuesday.
Cutifani, who is also Anglo American CEO, told the chamber’s 123rd annual general meeting (AGM) in Johannesburg that the mining industry was South Africa’s best chance of eradicating poverty. “In the end, we are an industry for the people,” he said.
The National Development Plan (NDP), which was endorsed by most constituencies, clearly reasserted the conviction that the mining sector was at the epicentre of the economic growth strategy and it was critical that all South Africans understood that they were actually the owners of the South African mining industry.
For example, more than 60% of Anglo American’s operating South Africa assets in coal, platinum, iron-ore, diamonds and manganese were held by the historically disadvantaged – “a massive transformation of ownership”.
“The Randlords are long gone. The owners of Anglo American are actually South Africans, like the people in this room and the people you pass in the street with pensions and provident funds. They are the owners of this mining industry. They are the owners of the wealth of this country.
“It’s time we started to think about every action taken and the impact that has on pension funds and the real owners of this industry,” Cutifani said, adding that the country owned the resources through the Minerals and Petroleum Resources Development Act, the government was the custodian, and the owners of the companies that operated those resources were predominantly South African.
The business was in the assets that operated on the government’s behalf.
While there had been a ‘trust deficit’ between the mining industry and the government for 100 years, South Africa was currently as close as it had ever been to having a true and honest debate, with integrity, about the future that the industry wanted to create.
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