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vol.113 número1Nationalization: an analysis of the competing interests of capital, labour, and governmentMaking sense of transformation claims in the South African mining industry índice de autoresíndice de assuntospesquisa de artigos
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Journal of the Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy

versão On-line ISSN 2411-9717
versão impressa ISSN 0038-223X

Resumo

DU PLESSIS, S.. Nationalizing South African mines: an economic assessment. J. S. Afr. Inst. Min. Metall. [online]. 2013, vol.113, n.1, pp.31-38. ISSN 2411-9717.

Nationalization is high on the policy agenda in South Africa. This paper considers the case for nationalizing the local mining sector from an evidence-based perspective, which is derived from theoretical considerations and related to the known features of the South African mining sector and economy. A strong case against nationalization emerges, which can be summarized as follows. The mining sector is competitive and therefore a poor candidate for public ownership. Furthermore, the resources sector does not dominate the South African economy nor does it create the risk of a decrease in the competitiveness of the industrial sector via the unintended adverse impact of an appreciating real exchange rate due to a commodity boom (Dutch Disease). Nationalizing the mining sector will cost the government more than it receives. This is not only a bad idea in itself, but it will limit the scope for distributive policies on the national budget. The contemporary international experience demonstrates the risks of fiscal imprudence. Finally, nationalizing the resources sector will undermine support for those very market-based institutions required to achieve a higher long-run growth trajectory.

Palavras-chave : nationalization; South Africa; mining sector..

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