Academic Mamphela Ramphele who is rumoured to be starting a new political party soon‚ refined her political message at the Mining Indaba on Wednesday (6 February)‚ implicitly criticising the ANC for lashing out about at mine retrenchments.
Ramphele carved out a position somewhere between the ANC's existing policy and that of industry‚ saying recent "noise" in the relationship between the industry and government was "unnecessary".
She also criticised proposed legislative changes to mining legislation which could restrict investors' ability to sell stakes in listed companies without permission. The attitude of "continually threatening" was "scary" for investors.
There were issues about which government should be firm‚ like housing and remuneration‚ but on involving itself in the sale of stakes in mining companies‚ she said: "Why would that be necessary?"
She had an upbeat message about the future of the mining industry saying a new mindset was required but "almost every challenge can be turned into an opportunity".
Ramphele was warmly received at the conference‚ and when asked whether she was going to start a new political party‚ she quipped that miners should avoid short-term thinking.
"Just wait patiently"‚ she added.
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