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While the mining industry has shaped the country it has a lot of shortcomings, such as the migrant labour system, he said in an interview on CNBC’s Political Exchange.
He sought to allay investor fears about changes to resource rents, mining royalties and taxes.
“People will always have some nervousness when we say things…When Zimbabwe said indigenisation people jumped all over. Today people go to Zimbabwe to be part of indigenisation.”
However, things cannot stay the same, says Zuma.
“Mining can’t make huge profits with no benefits to the people of the country… If you are not addressing the economic need of the country, you must know we are dealing with a problem.”
South Africa’s mining sector has been hit by a series of strikes in 2012, which have cost millions of dollars.
Dozens of people have been killed in strike-related violence.
In a related development, Amplats, a subsidiary of Anglo American, the world’s largest platinum producer, has said that it is selling mines and will cut back operations in South Africa to cut costs.
With inputs from Agencies