NO ADVERTISING, GOVERNMENT OR CORPORATE FUNDING

  • Latest News
  • Pitch a Story
  • Work with a Journalist
  • Join the Blog Squad
  • Afghanistan
  • Africa
  • Asia
  • Baltimore
  • Canada
  • Egypt
  • Europe
  • Latin America
  • Middle East
  • Russia
  • Economy
  • Environment
  • Health Care
  • Military
  • Occupy
  • Organize This
  • Reality Asserts Itself
  • US Politics
  • South Africa and the Resource Curse


    Patrick Bond: Mining interests are a powerful force shaping African politics -   February 14, 2013
    Members don't see ads. If you are a member, and you're seeing this appeal, click here

    Audio

      Share to Twitter
    Share to Facebook




    Thanks for providing such a reliable news website - Shakur K
    Log in and tell us why you support TRNN

    Bio

    Patrick Bond is the Director of the Center for Civil Society and Professor at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa. Bond is the author and editor of the recently released books, Politics of Climate Justice and Durban’s Climate Gamble.

    Transcript

    South Africa and the Resource CursePAUL JAY, SENIOR EDITOR, TRNN: Welcome to The Real News Network. I'm Paul Jay in Baltimore. And please join us now for this week's edition of the Bond report with Patrick Bond, who now joins us from South Africa.

    Patrick is the director of the Center for Civil Society. He's also a professor at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa. Bond's an author and editor of the recently released books Politics of Climate Justice and Durban's Climate Gamble.

    Thanks for joining us again, Patrick.

    PATRICK BOND, DIRECTOR, CENTRE FOR CIVIL SOCIETY: Great to be with you, Paul.

    JAY: So what's the big story this week in South Africa?

    BOND: It's really been mining, because South Africa for the 19th time has hosted the African Mining Indaba. Indaba is a local word for gathering. And these are thousands of the companies, the heads of state and state functionaries and the journalists who make up this huge industry that is responsible for so much environmental destruction and economic, social, and political degradation on the continent. And they gather every year.

    And this year was especially important, because there's been such a roller coaster, especially with the single biggest sector, platinum, here in South Africa. It was the largest firm, a couple of weeks ago—that's Angloplats—announcing 14,000 layoffs right in the area of the Marikana platinum fields, where there was a big massacre last August. The commission into the massacre's been continuing with more revelations about emailing that actually catalyzed the police and the mining ministry to intervene and to get the mineworkers off that famous hill where they were trapped and 34 murdered over the course of a few minutes last August 16.

    But, you know, the company involved there, that was Lonmin, third-largest platinum miner. They've made an extraordinary comeback. In the last couple of weeks, they've announced that they had a huge increase in production after the mineworkers settled the 22 percent wage increase, Paul. And what that means is that there's suddenly a jockeying in this sector, and the largest firm, Anglo, was rapped over the knuckles very strongly by the South African government and by the mineworkers and is now beginning to come to the table. And there is also talk, although there's no nationalization of mines, that certainly what brought Anglo was a threat to review their mining license.

    So we're really seeing an intensification of class and state capital struggles over mining. And the most exciting moment probably last week, Tuesday, was when Joe Seoka, the bishop from Pretoria who is very much a leader and very present with the mineworkers at Marikana, went and led a march against the mining indaba, insisting that on environmental and social grounds they clean up their act.

    JAY: Why would one of the companies seem to be profitable, Lonmin, and the other losing money in the same fields?

    BOND: Well, it's partly because Lonmin had such a huge loss. They lost around 90 percent of their share value, so they've had to come up naturally as a sort of bounce-back. And no one had much expectations that a company like that—by the way, a company once named in 1973 the unacceptable face of capitalism by British Prime Minister Edward Heath—no one really expected them to make a comeback at all. And the workers certainly have remained militant, and many of them are claiming they didn't get their full payment back, and they've been threatening strikes in recent days. So I think the situation's quite fluid.

    It also relates very much to whether key individuals like Cyril Ramaphosa, the Lonmin shareholder, probably the largest South African shareholder, nearly 9 percent, he in the meantime was made the deputy president of the ruling party, and pretty much a clear line of succession to becoming the next president after Jacob Zuma retires, probably in the year 2017. And so Cyril Ramaphosa very present in the debates about what to do about mining and very much mining industry representative. And the other key figure this last week, a woman called Mamphela Ramphele, who is the chair of Goldfield—it's a big gold mining operation which also is downsizing—and she used to be the World Bank managing director for poverty, a neoliberal, a very controversial former partner of Steve Biko, the great black consciousness leader.

    JAY: I was about to say, aren't both of these figures former activists?

    BOND: Indeed. Ramaphosa was the National Union of Mineworkers leader who actually led in 1987 the first big mine strike that was a national strike and really shook the apartheid regime and its corporate friends.

    And Mamphela Ramphele was banned by the apartheid regime and then did her doctorate at the University of Cape Town and became the president—what we call the vice chancellor—of that university before going to the World Bank. And now she's a venture capitalist and sits on the boards of a number of companies and does a great deal of public intellectual work and will start a new political party in coming days. That party, lining up to the right of the African National Congress, probably will pull away some of its middle-class support.

    So it's an interesting time in terms of the fluidity in the political system, even though we don't really have an election scheduled here till 2014.

    JAY: And what do you make of the arc of people like these two individuals we're talking about, who were activists in the fight against apartheid and are now essentially multimillionaire big capitalists who are fully pushing neoliberal economics and politics? I mean, is it that when they fought against apartheid, it was really a fight against racism for them and not for any kind of more equitable social-economic system? I mean, how do you get—or is this cynicism and corruption now?

    BOND: Well, both are extremely ambitious. And in the sense that they've—they're probably about the brightest people of the anti-apartheid generation. You could name maybe a dozen and they would certainly be there. But that ambition goes, in a sense, personality-wise, with the flow, and that's crony capitalism in this country. It's a corporatist arrangement where big business and the big government, along with some factions of big labor, including the mineworkers, have settled into a fairly easy relationship in which there's a revolving door.

    So, Paul, it's not so much, as one, you know, might initially think, a sellout or a complete change in ideology, but a natural evolution that many of the sharpest people in the anti-apartheid movement decides where they can make money and exert influence. And I think to both their credits, they're leaving the business world behind.

    Both are now quickly resigning—for example, Ramaphosa now resigning from Lonmin so that he can be a full-time politician and not be encumbered by the huge—I mean, he's worth about $600 million at least, and he's therefore probably able to put most of his holdings into a blind trust and come out of whatever political experience he has still the second-wealthiest black man in South Africa, probably about the fourth-richest overall. And although Manphela Ramphele had many other possibilities as the World Bank managing director for poverty, she could certainly have stayed in the multilateral system. I think, for both of them, exerting power and being very frustrated with the way in which the South African government has degenerated with the corruption at the top of the government—and I think in some ways these are real valid efforts by ambitious people to exert more political influence.

    However, the problem is that they are doing so within a context of corporate, state, and some big labor relationships which have had this terrible environmental, social, labor, economic, and I think political degeneration. And that's the resource curse, writ large here. We've seen many other examples. You could argue that the Central African Republic intervention in January by the South African government, 400 troops going to back up a dictator there, was because South Africa has uranium interests there. In fact, the deputy foreign minister acknowledged such.

    So we're beginning to see South Africa in the same way France in Mali in recent days has gone in, probably to protect the interests of uranium in that vicinity, uranium producers for the big French nuclear plants. And so mining again plays this environmentally destructive, but also politically degenerative role. And that's what we saw with the African mining summit here in Cape Town, where so many very wealthy people came and made no concessions, really, whatsoever to the reality that the gig is up, that people understand much more, after the Marikana massacre, what kind of damage they're doing.

    JAY: Alright. Thanks for joining us, Patrick.

    BOND: Thank you.

    JAY: And thank you for joining us on The Real News Network.

    End

    DISCLAIMER: Please note that transcripts for The Real News Network are typed from a recording of the program. TRNN cannot guarantee their complete accuracy.


    Comments

    Our automatic spam filter blocks comments with multiple links and multiple users using the same IP address. Please make thoughtful comments with minimal links using only one user name. If you think your comment has been mistakenly removed please email us at contact@therealnews.com

    Comments


    Latest Stories


    Affirmative Action Ruling Will Further Racial Inequality
    Evidence for Russian Involvement in East Ukraine Based on Shoddy Journalism
    Ivy League Study: The General Public Has Virtually No Influence on Policy
    The Modern History of Venezuela and Popular Democracy - Edgardo Lander on RAI (9/9)
    An Asia "Pivot" Should Mean Cooperating with China to Solve the Global Environmental Crisis
    Assessing the U.S. Environmental Movement
    Intimidation and Political Interference Goes Unpunished in UAW Case
    Exclusive Investigation Uncovers How BP Uses Bribes To Do Business
    The Modern History of Venezuela, The Protests and Democracy - Edgardo Lander on RAI (8/9)
    Greek Politics 4 Years After The Financial Crisis
    CBO Report Confirms U.S. Deficit Back to Normal Level
    Israel Uses Refugees as "Currency" in Arms Trade with Africa
    Who Will Pay for Climate Change Disaster?
    Canada Shifts to Right Under Harper, Mimicking the United States
    The Savings and Loan Crisis Demonstrates the Importance of Glass-Steagall
    South African Platinum Miner's Struggle Challenges ANC Leadership
    TRNN Original Report: Manning Determined to Fight Back After Army Upholds 35- Year Sentence
    Hundredth Anniversary of the Ludlow Massacre
    The Bundy Ranch Standoff Demonstrates Values Shared by Corporations and the Far Right
    The Resegregation of American Schools
    The Modern History of Venezuela, Why Still So Much Crime? - Edgardo Lander on Reality Asserts Itself (7/9)
    What Role Has Russia Played in Eastern Ukraine?
    Can Johns Hopkins Afford to Pay A Living Wage? (2/2)
    University Sit-In Targets World's Largest Private Coal Company
    The Modern History of Venezuela and the Need for a Post-Oil Economy - Edgardo Lander on RAI (6/9)
    Can Johns Hopkins Afford to Pay A Living Wage? (1/2)
    One Percent of Environmentalists Killings Lead to Convictions
    Investigation Finds Former Ukraine President Not Responsible For Sniper Attack on Protestors
    The Modern History of Venezuela from 1973 to the Caracazo Massacre - Edgardo Lander on Reality Asserts Itself (3/9)
    Ukraine Transitional Gov't Moves Militarily To Reclaim Seized Buildings
    IPCC Report Flawed By Narrow Focus on Carbon Emissions
    The Modern History of Venezuela: The Bolivarian Revolution - Edgardo Lander on Reality Asserts Itself (5/9)
    Obama Signs Directives to Reduce the Gender Wage Gap
    Eastern Ukraine Lacks Political Representation in Kiev
    Demystifying the Role of Mitigation in the Most Recent IPCC Report
    Hypersurveillance State Won't Prevent Another Boston Marathon Bombing
    The Modern History of Venezuela from 1973 to the Caracazo Massacre - Edgardo Lander on Reality Asserts Itself (3/9)
    Univ. of Maine Faculty Reinstated After Students Protest Against Cuts
    The Modern History of Venezuela from 1908 to 1973 - Edgardo Lander on Reality Asserts Itself (2/9)
    IMF Will Address Global Inequality, Says Managing Director Christine Lagarde
    Raising Big Banks' Leverage Ratio Good, But Not Nearly Enough
    TRNN Replay: Austerity Road to 19th Century
    Has Palestinian Maneuvering Revived Peace Talks?
    Late Jackson Mayor Lumumba's Son Wins Primary to Replace His Father, Runoff Election Ahead
    Quebecers Reject PQ and Elect a Liberal Government Representing Big Business
    TRNN Debate: Decriminalization vs. Legalization
    The Beginning of the Chavez Era - Edgardo Lander on Reality Asserts Itself (4/9)
    "Off With His Head": Court Upholds Obama's Power to Kill
    Workers at Nation's Top Hospital Strike For Fair Wages
    From Exile to Radicalization in Venezuela - Edgardo Lander on Reality Asserts Itself (1/9)
    Rwanda 20 Years Later: Genocide, Western Plunder of Congo, and President Kagame
    Ukrainian Protesters in the East Demand More Autonomy From Kiev Government
    Hunger Strikers Demand President Obama Halt His Record 2 Million Deportations
    Indian Parliamentary Elections - A Primer With Vijay Prashad
    West Looks to Carve Up Ukraine & Privatize Industries Held by Kleptocrats
    Where Are Israeli-Palestinian Peace Negotiations Headed?
    The Multiple Kingdoms of Saudi Arabia (5/5)
    Do the Afghan Presidential Elections Signify Progress?
    Republican Presidential Hopefuls Pay Homage to Billionaire Casino Tycoon Sheldon Adelson
    Will Extremist Lieberman Become Israel's Next Prime Minister?
    Why do the Saudis Want the US to Attack Iran? (4/5)
    Immigrant Advocates and Families Tell President Obama 'Not One More'
    Elections, Pipelines, and Protests - The Canada Panel
    Chris Hedges on "Israel's War on American Universities"
    Baltimore Residents Decry Lack of Affordable Housing
    Yellen Talks the Talk But Will She Walk the Walk?
    Hopkins Hospital Workers Speak Out against "Poverty Wages"
    Will Venezuela's New Floating Exchange Rate Curb Inflation?
    The European Central Bank's War on Wages is Pushing Europe's Economy to the Brink
    Supreme Court Decision Opens Floodgates for More Campaign Cash
    Charles Keating, the Financier Behind the Savings and Loan Scandal, Dies at 90
    Saudi Arabia and the al-Qaeda Monster (3/5)
    Maryland Residents Voice Opposition to Natural Gas Fracking Export Facility
    Supreme Court Ruling Gives Wealthy Individuals More Influence Over Elections
    What are the Saudis Afraid Of? - Madawi Al-Rasheed (2/5)
    Baltimore's MICA Adjunct Professors Set to Vote on Unionization
    Boycott of Israel Moving to Next Level?
    Hypocrisy Dressed Up as "Realism" Justifies American Alliance with Saudi Dictatorship
    Immigration Reform in the Shadows of Cesar Chavez's Legacy
    Leaked Senate Report Shows Use of Torture As "Ineffective"
    UN Report Says Climate Change Will Threaten Food Production Worldwide
    The Hypocrisy of US Calling for Enforcement of International Law
    How the Ecuadorian Economy Grew in a Global Recession
    'Shadows of Liberty' Trailer
    Kristina Borjesson on Why CBS Shut Down Her investigation into Flight 800 (2/8)
    Glen Ford on Racism in the American Media (3/8)
    Paul Jay on What Drives Corporate Media and What Drive The Real News (4/8)
    Creating a New Media Paradigm After Citizens United (5/8)
    Should The Left Engage with the Mainstream Media? (6/8)
    What Is the Financial Backing For The Real News? (7/8)
    Standing up to Character Assassination (8/8)
    Oligarchs, Fascists and the People's Protest in Ukraine
    TRNN Debate: Is Obamacare In the Interest of Workers?
    Too-Big-To-Fail Advantage Remains Intact For Big Banks
    Obama and the Saudi Agenda
    TRNN Replay: Investigating the Saudi Government's 9/11 Connection and the Path to Disilliusionment - Sen. Graham on Reality Asserts Itself pt 1
    The Iraq War's Real Legacy
    Petitions with 100,000+ Signatures Call for Snowden's Passport to be Reinstated
    We Need to Harness People Power - Andy Shallal on Reality Asserts Itself (4/4)
    BC Pipeline Fight and Quebec Elections - The Canada Panel
    Jonathan Schell - 1943-2014: Board Member of TRNN on Why We Need The Real News
    Teachers on Strike from the UK to Argentina
    Connecticut Poised to Become First State with $10.10 Minimum Wage
    Oil Spill Threatens Wildlife and Local Economy
    DC School Test Scores Up, But Poor Black Kids Are Doing Worse - Andy Shallal on RAI (3/4)
    Obama's Proposal To End NSA Bulk Data Collection Won't Protect Privacy
    How Google, Apple & The Biggest Tech Companies Colluded to Fix Workers' Wages
    An American Should be One that Questions Their Government - Andy Shallal on RAI (2/4)
    What's Driving Putin & Obama's Posturing on Ukraine?
    Hundreds of Students & Faculty Occupy College Campus to Fight Cuts to Public Higher Ed
    Due Process 'Impossible' In Harsh Death Sentencing Of Over 500 Muslim Brotherhood Members
    Has Anglo-American Capitalism Run Out of Steam?
    Being the "Other" in America - Andy Shallal on Reality Asserts Itself (1/4)
    TRNN Debate: Should Baltimore 'Ban The Box'?
    How Fallujah Became the Iraqi Government's New Battleground
    Why I Decided to Blow the Whistle on the NSA
    NASA Climate Predictions Show Serious Threat To Humanity
    Professor Who Teaches Israel-Palestine Conflict Accuses College of Violating His Academic Freedom
    CIA and NSA Wrongdoing Requires Independent Investigation, Says Former Church Committee Staff
    Are Tuition Breaks Enough To Combat High Student Debt And Low Graduation Rates?
    Industries Across the U.S. Are Stealing Wages From Their Lowest Paid Workers
    Who In Ukraine Will Benefit From An IMF Bailout?
    NSA Recording All International Calls From U.S.
    Israel "Making Lives Miserable" for Africans, Hoping They 'Self-Deport' (2/2)
    BP Gets Green Light to Drill in Gulf, But Has Safety Improved?
    Residents Still Not Drinking Tap Water Two Months After West Virginia Spill (1/2)
    Libya's Descent Into Turmoil Three Years After NATO Intervention
    From Pipelines to Peladeau - Canadian Report
    Israel "Making Lives Miserable" for Africans, Hoping They 'Self-Deport' (1/2)
    Congressional Progressive Caucus Budget Strikes Back Against Austerity
    Libya Three Years Later - Chaos and Partition
    Why Was Gaddafi Overthrown?
    Should Ukraine and West Accept De Facto Crimea Joining Russia? (2/2)
    Tony Benn Saw Socialism as the Culmination of Democratization
    Why Didn't Bush/Cheney Attack Iran and Can Obama Make and Sell a Deal? - Gareth Porter on Reality Asserts Itself (3/3)
    After Late Mayor Lumumba is Laid to Rest, What's Next for Jackson, Mississippi? (2/2)
    Crimea Referendum: Self Determination or Big Power Manipulation? (1/2)
    Sen. Graham: President Must Side with Openness About CIA and 9/11
    Manufacturing a Narrative for War - Gareth Porter on Reality Asserts Itself (2/3)
    Protesters Hit the Streets of Brooklyn to Demand $15 Minimum Wage
    Hammer: 'Moral Bankruptcy' Behind Massive GM Recall
    White House Withholds Thousands of Documents from Senate CIA Probe
    I Grew Up Believing in Time Magazine's Version of America - Gareth Porter on RAI (1/3)
    Western European Banks Vulnerable to Ukrainian Sovereign Debt Crisis
    TRNN Debate: What's Driving Inflation in Venezuela? (2/2)
    CIA vs. Senate: Who Is Obama Protecting?
    Will Tipped Workers Get Excluded Again From Minimum Wage Hike?
    TRNN Debate: What's Driving Inflation in Venezuela? (1/2)
    After Late Mayor Lumumba is Laid to Rest, What's Next for Jackson, Mississippi?(1/2)
    TRNN Replay: A Look at Who's Poised to Become No.2 at the Fed
    How Right-Wing Nationalism Rose to Influence in Ukraine (2/2)
    Netanyahu Attacks Boycott As Campaign Enters New Phase
    Moving Towards a Police State - Michael Ratner on Reality Asserts Itself (7/7)
    Fighting Reagan's Secret, Illegal Wars - Michael Ratner on Reality Asserts Itself (6/7)
    Puerto Rican Independence Movement and Cuba Further Radicalized Me - Michael Ratner on RAI (5/7)
    The Butcher of Attica - Michael Ratner on Reality Asserts Itself (4/7)
    MLK and a Radicalizing Moment in American History - Michael Ratner on Reality Asserts Itself (3/7)

    RealNewsNetwork.com, Real News Network, Real News, Real News For Real People, IWT are trademarks and service marks of IWT.TV inc. "The Real News" is the flagship show of IWT and Real News Network.

    All original content on this site is copyright of The Real News Network.  Click here for more

    Problems with this site? Please let us know

    Linux VPS Hosting by Star Dot Hosting