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Ben Turok Examines the Realities of the Mining Industry’s Potential Decline in Light of Marikana

Ben Turok, author of the Understanding the ANC Today series, has written an opinion piece in Business Day in which he addresses the “large gap between mining and manufacturing to the detriment of both sectors and to the economy”.

The Historical Roots of the ANCThe ANC and the Turn to Armed Struggle 1950�1970Readings in the ANC TraditionReadings in the ANC TraditionDevelopment in a Divided CountyThe Controversy About Economic GrowthMarikana

He believes that the economy should not simply be based on extractive industries but that it should move up the value chain by adding production of finished goods and setting up manufacturing bases. This will ensure that the economy grows. In considering the future of the industry, especially in light of Marikana, Turok says there needs to be a “rigorous analysis of the interface between mining and industrialisation”.

It was reasonable to assume, especially after Marikana, that mining companies, the government and labour were consulting about the future of the industry. Yet it seems that it didn’t happen. Instead, we have a row over the procedures to be followed by the industry and the government, rather than explanations of the effects on the national economy of proposed drastic cutbacks.

The point is that even though the contribution of mining to gross domestic product (GDP) and tax revenue has been falling steadily for some years, it is still a major indirect contributor to the economy. What happens in mining is therefore very much a matter of national interest. Yet the mining industry has always behaved like an enclave in the broader economy requiring special treatment. This was justified to some extent because of the huge investment and special skills needed, but its exclusive character has been overdrawn.

Book details

  • Marikana: A view from the mountain and a case to answer by Peter Alexander, Thapelo Lekgowa, Botsang Mmope, Luke Sinwell, Bongani Xezwi
    EAN: 9781431407330
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