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Anglo American\'s view on nationalisation


Tue, 25 Oct 2011 16:08

1. There seems to be increasing speculation over nationalisation of the mining industry. In your view, is this likely to become policy?
The consistent and unequivocal view from government is that nationalisation is not policy and nor do they believe in it as a sensible policy option. We also think the legal obstacles are significant.

2. Are there any models for nationalisation elsewhere in the world where nationalisation of any form has worked?
In our experience, nationalisation has failed in most countries that have tried it. Some oil producing nations have had some successes. We do not know of any directly comparable examples to South Africa where nationalisation has worked.

3. Advocates of nationalisation argue that the poor will benefit. What role does your company currently play in the development of local communities?
Speaking for Anglo American, we are the country's largest employer and we believe that our current employment conditions are exemplary and provide a decent life for all who work for us. In most of our operations our employees participate in black economic empowerment employee share schemes, which means they benefit along-side shareholders from the company's return on investment. We have innovated a number of world firsts in terms of social and community investment, including our ground breaking and hugely impactful HIV/Aids treatment initiative. We are a major investor in new small businesses through our enterprise development initiative, Zimele, that has to date been responsible for the creation of over 17000 jobs and 1061 fledgling business in predominantly peri-urban communities.
Last year, Anglo American invested over R518-million ($65.9-million) in South Africa on social development initiatives, a portion of which was channelled through our Chairman's Fund, which supports the development of hundreds of high-impact NGO's and initiatives throughout the country. We believe in partnering for best effect and that is an ethos that is carried forward in all aspects of our approach to social development. We understand that simply responding to a need is not sustainable and we are constantly working together with our peers, government and communities to affect greater change and make a lasting and positive contribution to South Africa's prosperity.

4. How does the broader mining industry in South Africa currently contribute to the economy and to social development in South Africa?
In terms of social development, every mining operation has a pre-agreed social and labour plan in place, which is governed by our authority, the Department of Mineral Resources. In addition, the mining industry is bound by the Mining Charter which Anglo American accepts as a fair and honest benchmarking tool by which to measure performance in key operational and social sectors.

5. What roles does your company play in stimulating the local economy?
We are a major tax contributor and earner of necessary forex. Our investment and procurement initiatives pour billions of rands into the economy and support many South African companies, with a clear focus on procuring locally from communities surrounding our operations. Last year we spent R20.9-billion ($2.9-billion) in procurement and enterprise development with Historically Disadvantaged South African (HDSA) companies.

Through Zimele, we have invested in many new businesses that employ thousands of people, as mentioned earlier. The collective turnover for these businesses, which means direct benefit to communities is close to R2-billion. Further statistics reveal that 48% of all entrepreneurs supported are youth and 35% women. These are encouraging as they demonstrate the move towards transforming socio-economic landscapes in local communities.

We employ over 95000 people who are economically active, many of who have benefitted from our comprehensive and over-arching skills development and human resource development initiatives that range from ABET right through to executive leadership programmes.

6. A final question: what is the general outlook for the mining industry over the next year?
We are cautiously confident. However, it would be naive not to be concerned about potential slowdown in the global economy.

Anglo American\'s view on nationalisation

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