South Africa's "spectre of nationalisation" laid to rest - Anglo CEO

JOHANNESBURG Tue Dec 4, 2012 3:55pm GMT

Chief Executive Officer of Anglo American Cynthia Carroll attends the G20 CEO Summit in Seoul November 10, 2010. REUTERS/Aly Song

Chief Executive Officer of Anglo American Cynthia Carroll attends the G20 CEO Summit in Seoul November 10, 2010.

Credit: Reuters/Aly Song

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JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - South Africa has extinguished the "spectre of nationalisation" that hung over its mining industry but still needs to keep watch against damaging regulatory changes, the outgoing chief executive of Anglo American (AAL.L) said on Tuesday.

"The regulatory debate in South Africa has been going on for a very long time and is still not complete," Cynthia Carroll said in a talk in Johannesburg.

"The spectre of nationalisation has been laid to rest but the need to guard against damaging regulatory changes stays."

Carroll also said proposals for a resource rent tax were "unnecessary and unwise".

The recent wave of wildcat strikes that had shut down large parts of its platinum unit (Amplats) hit the company "very, very hard" and workers were still being threatened with violence if they disobeyed labour activists, she said.

The unit was struggling to get all miners back to work.

Wildcat strikes that started in the country's platinum sector have left more than 50 people dead and spilled over to other industries, undermining investor confidence in Africa's biggest economy and tarnishing the reputation of President Jacob Zuma's government.

Carroll said Anglo American Platinum's (AMSJ.J) review of its South African operations was drawing to a close and the company would report on the outcome early in the new year.

She said, however, that splitting off the South African platinum business was "not on the agenda".

(Reporting by Ed Cropley; writing by Agnieszka Flak; editing by David Dolan and Jon Herskovitz)

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