Bloomberg News

U.K.’s Lord Green Says S. African Nationalization Not a Concern

July 19, 2011

July 19 (Bloomberg) -- U.K. Minister for Trade and Investment Stephen Green said talk of nationalization in South Africa would not deter British investment in Africa’s largest economy.

“British businesses are very active here,” Green said in an interview in Johannesburg yesterday during a trade mission led by Prime Minister David Cameron. “They want to take part in what is a growing market. Of course they look at all the risks and take them into account, but this is a great environment.”

The youth wing of the ruling African National Congress party is pushing for the nationalization of South Africa’s mines and banks, and the seizure of farms without compensation. The threat is putting off some investors and jeopardizing job creation, Mark Cutifani, chief executive officer of AngloGold Ashanti Ltd., the continent’s largest gold producer, said last week.

South Africa’s government has repeatedly countered the calls for nationalization by emphasizing that it isn’t government policy.

ANC Youth League President Julius Malema on July 16 said critics of nationalization are not offering an alternative to ensure that the country’s black majority benefits economically from the end of white minority rule in 1994.

--Editors: Philip Sanders, Gordon Bell

To contact the reporter on this story: Franz Wild in Johannesburg at fwild@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andrew Barden at barden@bloomberg.net.


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