Bridgette Radebe, the ANCYL and nationalisation

Patrick Laurence
30 September 2010

Patrick Laurence asks what's behind BEE support for a state buyout of the mines

One of the most intriguing developments during the deliberations of the national general council of the African National Congress has been the emergence of Bridgette Radebe, one the richest women in South Africa, as an advocate of the nationalisation of the mines.

Radebe is the wife of Jeff Radebe, a member of the South African Communist Party's central committee and the minister of justice in President Jacob Zuma's administration.  Her brother, Patrice Motsepe, is a mining magnate like her, and reputedly the richest man in South Africa.

Bridgette Radebe participated in the discussion at the ANC's national general council on economic policy, where she reportedly came out in favour of the nationalisation of the mines, a cause that has been vociferously advanced by Julius Malema, the president of the ANC Youth League and in recent weeks identified himself as a potential, if not actual, opponent of President Zuma's.

Fiona Forde, an Irish journalist who is researching the role of Malema in present day South Africa, interviewed Radebe after her address to the ANC's commission on economic policy.

Forde's article was published on the front page of the Durban-based newspaper The Mercury. Her account of Radebe's views were neither criticised nor rejected by Radebe, who has been in contact with her since the publication of the article.

"The problem is the capitalist mining model," Radebe said.  "(It) takes a piece of land (to) explore, exploit, extract, export leave ghost towns and go overseas."

Elaborating, she added: "When we created a new South Africa, 83 % of the resources were owned by the (racial) minority. Now 91 % is owned by monopolies ... We are sliding backwards. Some fundamental decisions have to be made."

Radebe identifies three future options in the mining industry: (1) public-private co-operation as in the co-operative mining and marketing of diamonds in Botwana, (2) state ownership and management of the mines and (3) a state buyout of mines of dwindling profitability held primarily by the beneficiaries of black economic empowerment.

Radbe seems to favour the third option most but is known to be quick to emphasise that she is not seeking monetary compensation for herself.

It is relevant to record that Jeremy Cronin has long accused Malema of fronting for black capitalists with a stake in the mines who are disappointed with their earnings and who want the government to take over their assets and to compensate them financially.

He declines to identify the black capitalists for whom Malema is allegedly fronting, though his reticence would be understandable - but not necessary excusable - if one or more of the black capitalists had close connections with the SACP.

Malema and his lieutenants are undoubtedly encouraged by the support for their drive to persuade the ANC to nationalise the mines. Even excluding the support of Radebe, however, the final outcome of the ANC's national general council is not bereft of solace for them, the severe chastisement of Malema by Zuma notwithstanding.

To start with, the national general council agreed in principle to the establishment of a state bank and, more important for the Youth League, a state mining company to guard the rights of the people of South Africa as a whole.

It should be noted that the rights of the people as whole to ownership of the minerals beneath the soil have already been secured in statuary law and that the state serves as the custodian of those rights.

The establishment of a state mining company will advance the process further by serving as the first step to the state assuming ownership of the mines and thus of responsibility for the day-to-day administration of the mines.

It is furthermore a promising sign for the proponents of the complete nationalisation of the mines that the establishment of a state mining company has reportedly been approved by Tokyo Sexwale, one of the giants of the mining industry and the minister of human settlement in Zuma's cabinet.

One of Sexwale's possible reasons for approving of the idea of a state mining company is that he seeking the support of the Youth League for a bid to secure the leadership of the ANC at its national conference in 2012 and thereby set himself up to fulfil his lon held ambition to become South Africa's president.

Another hopeful sign for the ANC Youth League is a national general council resolution for the ANC to ensure state involvement in and control of strategically important sectors of the economy, including the mining, petroleum and financial spheres of activity.

The resolution also instructs Susan Shabangu, the minister of mines, to develop a blueprint for the state's role in the mining industry.  She has a mere year to complete the task. The outcome will be interesting as Shabangu is on record as saying that nationalisation will only occur over her dead body.

Enoch Godogwana, who served as the deputy chairman of the national general council commission on the transformation of the economy, has offered an assurance that the nationalisation debate will continue after the 2012 national conference.

It may be comforting to the ANC Youth League to know that the debate will continue after the conference and that, even if Zuma is re-elected as ANC president, nothing is written in stone.

But against that, the Youth League must know that if it is to succeed in fulfilling its aim of nationalising the mining industry as a whole it will  hace to overcome the resistance of Trevor Manuel, the minister of planning and the immediate past minister of finance who won international kudos for his management of South Africa's economy.

Manuel is scornful of Radebe's mooting of a state takeover of those mines in which the beneficiaries of black economic empowerment have a large stake but whose earnings from them are meagre.

He warns in stern tones that the cost will be no less than the ANC reneging on its promises of improved social and health services to the poor, a development which would have potentially disastrous political repercussions for the ANC.

As Manuel puts it, that "surely can't be covered by the import of what the ANC believes."

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If you come across comments that are injurious, defamatory, profane, off-topic or inappropriate; contain personal attacks or racist, sexist, homophobic, or other slurs, please report them and they will be removed.
 responses to this article

Rather nationalise the stolen ANC billions
One bigger idiot after the next... no wonder mining capitalists, or any other capitalists, are going overseas and foreigners don't want to invest in beautiful country run by corrupt and racist ANC cronies. You only need to look to the amount of taxpayers . .more

by vusmel on September 30 2010, 14:34
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however you try to spin it the youth league, is bloodied, and it will never recover, notwithstanding the rantings of boradebe. at least now we know the people behind malema. the nationalisation kite will never fly

by Mminashoro on September 30 2010, 15:06
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are you tired of being conned yet, comrades?
LOL. This article certainly spells out what nationalisation is all about and who stands to benefit. Needless to say, the masses will be conned into thinking that they are going to benefit.
As for Widget Radebe, please tell us where all these ghost . .more

by Realist on September 30 2010, 20:42
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Nationalisation aint the best subject you guys can be proud of in Africa..
each time a whole f@#$%&up , ok thats the rest of Africa, now come to SA, show me one succesful black farmer for who the State has bought a farm?...none?....yes, your`e right, see no matter how hard you people now try and discriminate openly against . .more

by @comrade Gama on October 01 2010, 06:48
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Do what you're supposed to do as a government ...
Invest & improve South Africa ... housing, education, infrastructure. Government needs to focus on the right things as a "government".

Why look at mining, and try and change something that is working?????

by Willem Ras on October 01 2010, 08:27
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Corporate welfare
Patrick -- It is not just BEE miners who see opportunities here. If you account for environmental liabilities, pretty much the whole industry is under water. A mechanism for transferring these liabilities to the state is attractive to the big miners too . .more

by Anthony Butler on October 01 2010, 08:39
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The stupidity is so overwhelming my mind reels.
.....and my head aches, so incomprehensible is the mindset of these grab and smash raiders.

by Dave on October 01 2010, 08:49
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Kleva peoples

Hou, these peoples are so kleva.

Viva kleva Bridgette Radebe. Viva kleva SACP. Viva kleva peoples

by Want to be Kleva on October 01 2010, 08:55
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@Anthony Butler
Nice to see a comment that understands the game...article was pretty good at outlining that not all is what it seems.

by . on October 01 2010, 09:18
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where is pigspotter?..maybe he must appoint a stupid-ancylspotter to .
identify this morons?

by cop on October 01 2010, 09:44
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The very richest among us are trying to get richer ...
I didn't see that coming. The ANCYL circus is on the payroll of fat cats to push the nationalisation agenda. I didn't see that coming. How else does a guy with a 'G' in matric and who has not held down a real job live in an R8m house and wear a R250k . .more

by Publik Protekta on October 01 2010, 10:11
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Beyond comprehension
There is no way to comprehend or even much less to rationalise about this insane and monumentally stupid greed.
Is it just a cultural thing, or was it only recently acquired by the klepto-thug "Revolutionary Liberation Cadres"?
If not, could . .more

by Injala Apera on October 01 2010, 10:14
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ANC are brilliant at running parastatals - NOT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

by Bwhahahahahaha on October 01 2010, 10:34
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We havent even figured out BEE, how in the world are we going to manage nationalisation of the mines? There is too much corruption and self enrichment schemes goin on which is y i doubt the poor will benefit from this.

by Sedz on October 01 2010, 10:50
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Bridget the "miner"
Dear Bridget, I'm so regret that mining has sobered you up. Unfortunately, it did not turn out to be the "auto-teller" you expected it to be, but a cyclical industry fraught with risk, capital demands and a regulatory nightmare. This is what the real . .more

by Coal face on October 01 2010, 11:31
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Bridget, you and Patrice got rich far quicker than other miners in the history of the world and all this on the backs of black workers. You are therefore a capitalist and no different to the companies you complain about in the artice. You are in way . .more

by Jane on October 01 2010, 12:40
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Engage Transparently

It is inconceivable that even such a complex debate on whether or not to nationalise is driven by Malema. This makes is loose credibility given the quality of people in the ANCYL structure and particularly the lack of transparency in how the . .more

by Gambu on October 01 2010, 13:32
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And Yet the People will continue to vote for the ANC
The ANC's BEE policies has made development (investment) in South Africa an extremely expensive and unafordable exercise and will have to suck (tax) the economy dry to buy votes.

by Albie on October 01 2010, 15:09
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When will we start saying no?
Surely these mining magnate's mines will also come up for grabs? Since they are all for nationalization, it seems evident that they will be overseen and one can assume they will benefit from it. So the few ANC elite become richer and the rest (black and . .more

by Zenboer on October 01 2010, 15:11
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It's easy to give back something you were given , what did /do you no about mining .Nothing . But got millions whille paying your black brothers monkey nuts .

by Peter on October 02 2010, 08:20
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You can bring your BEE millions and nationalise my business .

by Buy me on October 02 2010, 08:23
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Black racists continue to cream it on racial slurs and innuendo.

Consider this statement of Radebe's :

'Elaborating, she added: "When we created a new South Africa, 83 % of the resources were owned by the (racial) minority. Now 91 % is owned by monopolies ... We are sliding backwards. Some fundamental . .more

by mpho on October 02 2010, 12:16
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Bridgette & Co have built up plenty of funds to shop in all the right 'kugel' places. Now she is happy to give her 'golden goose' back because there are responsibilities to mining like pumping and treating water, cleaning up the environment that they . .more

by shiksa on October 03 2010, 05:31
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It is a scam
Nationalization is merely the vehicle that will be used for the tax payer to bail out failing BEE mining companies.

by African4 on October 03 2010, 20:34
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African governance for dummies.
African governance = take the magic trick from the magician cos it looks so damn easy to do. tell the magician to P*** off while you dismally fail to make it work like he did. cry and cover your arrogance by blaming him when the whole thing falls flat on . .more

by Trader666 on October 03 2010, 23:30
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Ok so let me get this straight
They get given mines to run and own for free.
They discover that like farming, mining is not for the faint hearted and now want paid for what they received for free and have pretty much run into the ground.
Nationalize the mines ...take them back . .more

by Fred on October 04 2010, 10:51
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eThekwini City Manager Sutcliffe and girl friend Corrupt Jacquie Subban Head of Information Technolo...

ANC Protects corrupt Sutcliffe and Girl Friend Subban
Lets investigate the kingdom called SmartXchange.
There has been many billions that have passed these corridors.
Soon, Mr Goldstone will tell us what transpired at Smartxchange and how . .more

by bj on October 16 2010, 17:42
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Jacquie Subban eThekwini fraudster

The ANC is fully aware of the corruption by Michael Oliver Sutcliffe and his long relationship girl friend Jacquiline Subban who is the Head of Information Systems at eThekwini Municipality and they fail to act on the blatant corruption and fraud. . .more

by angelo on October 17 2010, 15:01
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