MAC: Mines and Communities

Economic empowerment - but for whom?

Published by MAC on 2006-08-03

Economic empowerment - but for whom?

3rd August 2006

Debate continues in South Africa over Anglo American/AngloPlat's failures to implement "black economic empowerment" - especially for poor farming communites on whose land it has encroached. [see: ] The company's market capitalisation has almost doubled in just over six months.

Re: Sketching the future of Angloplat empowerment From: Tony Harding [] Business Day Letters, August 3 2006


The article "Sketching the future of Angloplat empowerment" by Viwe Tlaleane refers [see below].

Angloplat CEO Ralph Havenstein deserves credit for his recent success in turning his company around.

Recent ligitation involving the company should indicate to him that all is not well in his mining house.

In fact, it is likely that he found in his recent discussions with the Department of Minerals and Energy on the company's empowerment plans that the department was better informed on issues of mine-community relations at his company's operations, and that his view of the situation on the ground was coloured by company spin, rather than fact.

In focussing himself on the bottom line, he has left "softer issues" in the hands of managers, some of whom have little appreciation for the fact that our constitutional order has closed the doors on the paternalism of the previous order. In other words, his company has exposed itself to both political and legal challenges.

He should now turn his attention to the company's imminent applications for new order mining rights, including its social and labour plans, due for submission to the Department of Minerals and Energy in 2009.

It cannot be in the best interest of shareholders to be seen by the public at large as a reactionary force on the social landscape.

Tony Harding

Sketching the future of Angloplat empowerment

Viwe Tlaleane, Business Day

1st August 2006

PLATINUM miner Anglo Platinum (Angloplat) spent three days with the minerals and energy department recently, explaining its empowerment plans in broad terms, executives said yesterday.

There has been considerable interest in Angloplat's empowerment plans in the past few years, mainly because of the size of the group, which would imply a very substantial deal if it were to bring in black investors at holding-company level.

Angloplat's market capitalisation yesterday was R157bn, up from R99,7bn at end-December.

The department has not yet granted any mining licences in the platinum sector although a few have been granted in the gold sector. It has been rumoured that the department was taking a hard line towards platinum miners, but Angloplat executives said they had not detected any animosity, certainly not as far as Angloplat was concerned.

They said most of the recent discussions with the department focused on Angloplat's social and labour plans. Executives did not say, but it can be speculated, that the department has quizzed Angloplat on land claims and relocations in some areas, which have recently attracted litigation and negative publicity.

Angloplat is claiming 19% in empowerment credits as a result of deals it has concluded at different mines. This compares with the target of 26% black equity to be achieved by 2014, according to the mining charter. Executives said the meeting with the department did not explore this calculation in detail, but they understood that it liked the group's policy of bringing in empowerment at the operating level.

Angloplat CEO Ralph Havenstein said the group had stayed away from equity at the holding-company level because it did not address the principles of the mining charter and was unaffordable for a group the size of Angloplat. But this picture still had to be completed, and the best way to achieve it was being discussed with the department.


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