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Nationalisation is a contentious issue that has polarised public opinion. Some believe nationalisation will lead to a more equitable allocation of resources and create jobs, while others believe that nationalisation will create inefficiencies and a higher public sector bill.

NMMU students are continuously exposed to diverse opinions and are encouraged to participate in debate and express themselves. It was with this in mind that a panel of experts was convened at NMMU’s George Campus to discuss the feasibility of nationalisation of South African mines.

The panel included Prof Raymond Parsons (Deputy CEO of BUSA, Economics lecturer at the University of Pretoria and member of the NMMU Council), Prof Peet Strydom (Professor in Economics at the North-West University, Potchefstroom Campus), Mr Jac Laubscher (Group Economist, Sanlam) and Mr Greig Menzies (former Economics lecturer at the NMMU George Campus).

In addition to NMMU George students, members of the audience included academics, professionals and various other interested parties.

Mr Menzies introduced the topic and explained some of the advantages and disadvantages of nationalisation, along with some examples of international experience.

Prof Strydom provided evidence that the mining sector was a declining industry, and therefore not a viable prospect for nationalisation.  He indicated that the outflow of foreign capital associated with nationalisation would lead to a decline in living standards in South Africa. 

Mr Laubscher’s key assertion was that government could not afford to compensate the current stakeholders. He also indicated that nationalisation without compensation was not feasible as it would require foreigners’ assets to be confiscated, which would result in international sanctions against South Africa.

Prof Parsons provided insight into the government’s discussion on the issue and some of the possible alternatives to nationalisation.

The expert conclusion was that nationalisation was not a feasible solution to the problems of the country and that alternative solutions were needed to create a more equitable and productive economy.


Photograph: Mr Cees Bruggemans (left), FNB Chief Economist, participated in the debate on nationalisation held at NMMU’s George Campus. He is flanked by Mr Greig Menzies (former NMMU George Economics lecturer), Prof Peet Strydom (Chairperson of the NMMU George BCom Advisory Committee), Prof Raymond Parsons (Deputy CEO of BUSA and member of the NMMU Council) and Mr Pieter Wicht (Senior BCom lecturer at NMMU George)

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Ms Alet van Tonder
Manager: Marketing & Corporate Relations
Tel: 27 44 801 5098