8 June 2012

South Africa: Irvin Jim Can't Handle the Truth

press release

NUMSA's Irvin Jim has chosen to hurl personal insults instead of debating the substance of the arguments in his response to my statement on the potential negative impact of his nationalisation proposals on mining jobs.

Jim's resort to race-baiting shows clearly that he is unable to debate the substance of the issue. It is true that talk of nationalisation will kill jobs.

I believe he knows too, that more and more South Africans are starting to see that it is COSATU and its wilder fringe groupings such as NUMSA that are keeping our people unemployed.

He cannot handle the truth, so he has to ignore the evidence.

COSATU keeps in place a labour regime that makes labour unaccountable and unreliable. Both factors drive away investment and close down business. With its talk of nationalisation, NUMSA is further ensuring that investment does not happen.

Ironically, at the same time Jim was issuing his intemperate statement, the National Union of Mineworkers was arguing at this week's Mining Lekgotla that nationalising the mines would be a bad idea.

The truth is that the South African mining sector can create jobs and relieve poverty by leveraging the massive competitive advantage presented by the mineral wealth under our soil, and that this potential is being undermined by Mr Jim's political posturing.

It is unemployed South Africans who pay the cost.

James Lorimer, Shadow Minister of Mining

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