South African Government Keeps Mining Industry on Edge

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Last week, South African President Jacob Zuma’s state of the union speech made headlines all over the world after the parliamentary session disintegrated into a riotous rumble.

What many missed in the scuffle appears to be a bit of a reversal from the South African government over the highly contentious and politicized issue of ‘strategic minerals.’

The government had initially been committed to declaring iron ore and coal as ‘strategic,’ which would give the government greater control over these sectors. However, Zuma reversed this position in his speech to the assembly, saying that changes to the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act must be “reworked” by parliament to ensure that all amendments are constitutionally sound.

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