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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:A bourgeois reform with social justice? The contradictions of the Minerals Development Bill and black economic empowerment in the South African platinum mining industry
Author:Capps, GavinISNI
Periodical:Review of African Political Economy (ISSN 0305-6244)
Geographic term:South Africa
Subjects:mining policy
External link:https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/03056244.2012.688801
Abstract:Since assuming power in 1994, the African National Congress has pursued an ambitious policy of 'modernizing' the minerals and mining sector in line with its overarching goal of developing an internationally competitive, non-racial and socially stabilized South African capitalism. This is a materialist analysis of the measures and evolution of that policy in the critically contested period between the release of the Minerals Development Bill (MDB) (December 2000) and its promulgation as the Minerals and Petroleum Resources Development Act (October 2002). Despite its apparent radicalism, the bill's core proposal to nationalize mineral rights is a variant of what Marx termed a 'Ricardian reform', here designed to accelerate capital accumulation by eliminating the barrier of private minerals ownership. Yet, the MDB also married this classically bourgeois reform with a nationalist commitment to racially transform the structure of mine ownership, thus embodying key contradictions of South Africa's democratic transition in the era of neoliberalism. The struggle over the final form and benefits of the new minerals dispensation would be centred on the platinum industry, where the established (white) producers had the most to lose from the legal abolition of the old mineral property system in favour of the nationalization and strategic redistribution of the resource base. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. in English and French. [Journal abstract]