The document in the first sections deals with research, political and ideological conceptions - with this portion of the document the Union is of the view that there is no need to engage with facts and ideological perspectives that are known and acceptable. What should be engaged with are the sections "Why Mines should be nationalized" and "What is to be done". In the debate, the ANCYL managed to bring back to the discussions and focus of the movement the question of nationalization and the need to have the Freedom Charter as central to the economic policies of the ANC and government. The document however has the following weaknesses: 1. Blackmailing those who differ with the approach or the debate; 2. Ignoring both legislative and policy frameworks dealing with this debate; and 3.

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The inputs, particularly from renowned academics, public intellectuals, members of the ANC, the alliance, and importantly ordinary people at grassroots level are particularly appreciated. This does not however mean that there were no detractors, who sought to divert our attention from the strategic questions raised in the perspective. Now the input by Comrade Joel Netshitenzhe is not part of detractors, but represents a conservative ideological wave in the ANC.

This ideological wave oddly believes that some of the tactical retreats taken upon transition by the ANC-led liberation movement constituted total capitulation. This ideological wave begun from the premise that the colonial economy and spatial development patterns did not need to be radically changed, but polished with a hollow hope that it might make today better than yesterday.

This ideological wave underpinned the adoption of the Growth, Employment and Redistribution GEAR strategy, which achieved some level of fiscal stability, yet dismally failed to achieve its own strategic objectives-mainly economic growth levels, investments and creation of jobs.

The United Nations Development Programme UNDP , recently observed that "at least between the years - , for which there is adequate data-economic growth was associated with declining incomes across households at all income levels, but with the sharpest income declines occurring among the least well off" 1.

The ideological wave further underpins a national spatial development perspective that basically says much attention, efforts and resources should be dedicated to apartheid centres of economic potential, whilst other areas are reserved as suppliers of labour and natural resources. The economic ideology that underpins this tendency finds expression in a watered down version of the interpretation of the Freedom Charter.

They present to the current generation of the membership of our movement, and the people of South Africa as a whole, what can be characterized as Freedom Charter Lite-a Freedom Charter without class content.

We therefore congratulate the ANC Youth League for re-affirming a consistently democratic interpretation that people who gathered in Kliptown in gave to the economic clause of the Freedom Charter" 2. The ANC Youth League welcomes the congratulations and re-affirms that the Freedom Charter will never be hijacked by anyone for whatever narrow purpose. Such has to be the case because efforts to decisively break the unemployment and poverty challenges have not substantially succeeded under the policy trajectory which Comrade Joel argues should be retained.

The conference further resolved to build "a developmental state [which] must ensure that our national resource endowments, including land, water, minerals and marine resources are exploited to effectively maximise the growth, development and employment potential embedded in such national assets and not purely for profit maximisation".

Polokwane took these resolutions in appreciation of the reality that the status quo is not desirable and should be changed.

We are also aware that attempts to misinterpret the Freedom Charter have recurrently failed and will never succeed under our guard of the revolution. The perspective on Nationalisation of Mines dedicated adequate time and space on how the ANC understood the transfer of mineral wealth to the ownership of the people as a whole and such has not changed.

The first student remarked that it is so strange that a security guard in the coal mines of Emalahleni got arrested for taking 25 kilograms of coal, whilst the mines steal coal everyday in loads and loads of trucks and transport it to Richards Bay, whilst ordinary people around the coal mines do not benefit from the coal.

The second student remarked that she decided to study Mining Metallurgy because her home town, Sekhukhune had lots of mining opportunities, yet she could not get any access to opportunities from the mines just across where she resides, as those who worked at the mines said she should travel to Rustenburg or Johannesburg if she wanted opportunities.

Unlike those who were around Mpanza, ingwenya in Makeni, Lusaka, our concerns are not about abstractions of whether nationalised mines will lead to socialism or not, but inspired by the objective suffering of our people and the opportunities which young people do not get in the democratic dispensation.

Our concern is the reality that the colonial features of the South African economy are still vivid, exporting virtually all natural resources and importing finished goods and products, but also enriching the white minority at the expense of the black majority. As we have argued in the ANCYL document, this does not mean that this wealth should be transferred to a few black elite. On the contrary, the public ownership and control, institutionalised through the state will enable the people to determine the production and distribution of our wealth.

It is a misleading and sad reflection because our reading of the Freedom Charter is consistent with how the ANC viewed it upon adoption in by the real Congress of the People and in by the ANC, wherein there were racialised inequalities alongside massive mineral wealth controlled by few conglomerates. Indeed the Freedom Charter was adopted in amidst massive inequalities and economic subjugation of the black majority and Africans in particular, and the reality is that 55 years later, such has not changed.

Attempts to substitute the Freedom Charter have always existed in the ANC and our generation vows that such can only be considered once the entirety of the Freedom Charter objectives and aims are realised.

What seems to worry many commentators is the question of State capacity to manage and administer mines as state owned enterprises. Worrying though is that a rather lame conclusion is made that because these institutions had problems, glitches and sometimes board squabbles; the state is generally incapable of managing corporations.

This observation is sad and ignores the substantial factors relating to the management of state owned enterprises and their relationship with the state as a principle. What is relieving amidst these observations is the fact that that the discussion document on nationalisation of mines foresaw the potential opposition to nationalisation on the basis of a supposition that the state is inherently incapable of managing corporations.

The comparison is not fair because in most instances, these have failed due to sheer criminality, mismanagement and patronage which characterised the most of these entities and very weak accountability systems.

The capacity of the State to decisively intervene in SAA and ESKOM for instance was inhibited by lack of proper systems and legislative framework concerning the extent of interventions the State can make alongside Boards of Directors". Further than that, all the state owned enterprises that are said to have failed were purely run on private sector principles, wherein progress and success is measured as per the profit margins, instead of concrete developmental outcomes such as employment creation and infrastructure investments.

Neo-liberals opposed to state ownership will not mention this reality because in their neo-liberal text books, innovation is solely a function of private ownership. If there is ever any balanced comparison on how successful a State Owned Mining Company should be run, that comparison should be with PetroSA, because PetroSA trades with commodities in a highly competitive environment.

The SOEs that are said to have failed are often said to have failed because of their internal management squabbles. But also the failed SOEs operate on private sector principles of narrow profit maximisation at the expense of everything else.

Then the detractors of nationalisation of mines will raise false alarms and forever make lame attempts to link state ownership with inherent inefficiency and corruption. The collapse of the economy globally happened as a result of narrow capital accumulation models pursued by privately owned corporations, and they all relied on public finance for revival and sustainability. It appears that the neo-liberals who want to rubbish the role of the state in the economy only choose a handful of state owned enterprises that encountered difficulties and ignore the successes of ACSA and PetroSA.

Efficiency of enterprises is not a function of shareholding, but a consequence of a variety of both subjective and objective conditions under which businesses operate. The ANC Youth League accepts that in the management of vital economic resources such as minerals, a need will certainly arise for strong accountability systems and legislative guidelines of how mines are operated, buttressed by strong public accountability mechanisms.

With the lessons derived from SAA, ESKOM, DENEL, and countries that are in minerals extraction partnerships, South Africa is suitably located to institutionalise a more effective, efficient and durable mechanism, systems and legislative framework to manage mines more efficiently. In a previous intervention and response to this conservative ideological current in the ANC, we argued that the question of when we nationalise Mines should be interrogated within the context of dialectical materialism, not through raising of false alarms intending at causing panic amongst revolutionaries in the cause of a National Democratic Revolution.

In Philosophy and Class Struggle, Dialego says, "if we stress the materialist component of our philosophy at the expense of the dialectical, the result will not be ultra-leftism but its twin opposite - right-wing opportunism: the tendency to overestimate the strength of the enemy so that the superficial appearances of the moment are mistaken for the deeper trends at work in historical reality.

Encountered with a bigger difficulty of a per se underdeveloped nation and almost non-existent socialist consciousness amongst the few workers in Russia in the early s, Vladimir Lenin never raised false alarms. He was instead inspired by the existent conditions and documented a clear programme titled "What is to be done?

As a revolutionary, he documented a clear programme on what was going to happen and virtually all of the things he said were to be done happened. He understood that as a revolutionary, you do not fold your arms and wait for the balance of forces to be in your favour, but should work towards ensuring that balance of forces are in your favour. The conditions in our country are currently favourable to a revolutionary programme and that is conclusively objective. It provides the basis for speedier implementation of programmes to build a truly democratic and prosperous society.

The legal and policy scaffolding for this is essentially in place. Most of society wants this to happen". Various other objective conditions provide reason why we have an adequate space to could move decisively on altering property relations. The people are already on the streets protesting for better lives, the ANC should mobilise the whole of our people and refocus their struggles to be directed towards real economic emancipation.

The United States, which has recurrently failed to remove the revolutionary leadership of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, continues to be the biggest consumer of Venezuelan oil, and most of its corporations and brands continue to do business in Venezuela. Forward to nationalisation of mines forward! Epstein, G. Heintz, J. February Dialego Philosophy and class struggle.

This article first appeared in Umrabulo Number 33 , 2nd Quarter Click here to sign up to receive our free daily headline email newsletter Related Articles.



Voran Why did the investors not leave when the apartheid government established Foskor in Phalaborwa? Toggle navigation Toggle profile. Read next on IOL. The Lekgotla appreciated the fact that the origination has grown significantly and since we took office inand further mandated us to ensure that we increase our recruitment campaign in order to reach a million in as we approach the centenary of the ANC. The State should adopt an Expropriation Nationalsiation, which will specify how the State should expropriate economic activities with or without compensation. For Nationalisation to happen, the discussion document we adopted out of this Lekgotla specifically proposes the following. Not generalised nationalisation, as it can assume various forms: The amended Act should apply to new mining licences and all those who seek to renew their licenses.



These anniversaries coincide with the ANC National General Council in and National Conference in , but most significantly represent significant periods in the growth, political and ideological development of the African National Congress. These anniversaries should serve to give practical meaning and coherent actualisation of the Freedom Charter, which has since its adoption, inspired hope for majority of the people of South Africa. The document is aware that various other strategic sectors of the economy should be transferred to the ownership of the people as a whole, yet thematically focusing on the transfer of Mineral wealth to the ownership and benefit of the people as a whole. The attainment of the Freedom Charter objectives remains the strategic objective of the African National Congress. It is against this background upon which a concrete position on the nationalisation of Mines is formulated in order to guide the ANC in the transfer of mineral wealth beneath the soil to the ownership and benefit of the people as a whole. This is to ensure that the "use of natural resources of which the state is the custodian of on behalf of the people, including our minerals, water, marine resources in a manner that promotes the sustainability and development of local communities and also realises the economic and social needs of the whole nation [2] ", as resolved in the 52nd National Conference of the African National Congress in December


According to a newspaper report, Mathale called for the nationalisation of mines at a Freedom Day celebration on Friday, and rejected claims that it would chase away investors. We need as this generation of youth a documsnt defined programme, which will empower young people with military skills and capacity so that they are able to contribute to conflict resolution, peacekeeping and humanitarian work across the world, but also be in a position to defend South Africa at all times. For Nationalisation to happen, the discussion document we adopted out of this Lekgotla specifically proposes the following. As revolutionary activists, we have a responsibility to appreciate the significance of national security and must always be on guard to defend the hard won freedom and democracy and fight crime in communities. Why did the investors not leave when President Robert Mugabe implemented his economic policies?


Debates on this subject are vexed by the fact that nationalisation takes many different forms. We need to ensure that proposals become more specific about a who would end up owning the assets, b who would manage them, and with what purpose, c what would be the costs to the fiscus and the economy, and d what would be the risks of failure as well as the benefits of success. The Zambian experience with nationalising the mines points to some of the risks. It ended up hiring back the multinational copper companies to manage them. As international copper prices fell, the companies enjoyed guaranteed management fees while the state had to bear the losses to the mines". Nevertheless, the ANC Youth League will consistently bear the patience of explaining and re-explaining the perspective on Nationalisation of Mines to avoid the resurfacing of rhetorical questions because the ANC NGC should not deal with those, but the central questions of when does the State begin to own and control strategic sectors of the economy, in this instance Mines.

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