The specter of Zimbabwe’s failed state often looms large for (white) South Africans. Fears of nationalization of productive industries, land takeovers, etc. came to the fore especially after the election of Jacob Zuma.
Well, this week, the mineral resources minister reiterated that the ANC has no plans to nationalize the mines, and will maintain pragmatic policies for the benefit of the economy. Rather, and I think quite correctly, the government is interested in regulation of safety issues, especially in the wake of several recent fatalities.
If the ANC is able to hold the line, resisting populist pressures to nationalize — for example, as expressed by the recently ousted youth leader, Julius Malema — it will have taken a major step in the direction of good governance.
Governments tend to be judged for what they do, but in this case, what they are not doing seems to be more important.