Nelson Mandela is gone, but South Africa will thrive says Anglo
Anglo American's links with South Africa are so entrenched that it has been described as running like a spine through the country's history. The founder of the FTSE 100 mining titan, Sir Ernest Oppenheimer, established it there in 1917, sowing the seeds of a giant empire in diamonds, gold and minerals.
Like most mining groups, the company made billions of dollars during the apartheid years, and remains one of the country's biggest investors today. But, as the killings of miners by police last year highlighted, these are uneasy times for the mining world in South Africa. The death of Nelson Mandela has focused minds on the country's troubles: poor industrial relations, economic sluggishness, corruption and, for miners, depletion of resources. This has led to increasing speculation that Anglo may follow other mining groups and reduce its operations in the country.
But the new chief executive, Mark Cutifani, hosting an investor conference yesterday, said fears of the country's demise were overdone. "I am starting to feel more optimistic about South Africa – optimistic but cautious as well," he said. "South African democracy is only 20 years old – it's still like a teenager, really – but they will get through it. It might be noisy at times, but I believe they will."
He pointed out that the South African Government had compromised on eight of the ten grievances raised by his industry over the forthcoming Mining Act as evidence of a spirit of cooperation.
Mr Cutifani was more measured in his words than one of his his predecessors (in April he became the underperforming company's third chief executive in the past decade). In 2004 Tony Trahar triggered an angry response from Thabo Mbeki, the then president, after he said "political risk" in the country remained.
Mr Cutifani said specifically that he was not considering reducing the company's activities in the country, which these days makes up a quarter of Anglo's global business.
"South Africa is above our 15% target for return on capital. It has been a good deliverer for us."
His words will be closely heeded, as will his vow to improve the company's performance, which he has previously described as "unacceptably poor". That will involve making $3.5bn (£2.1bn) of extra profits – suggesting big redundancy programmes.
- 1 Sabina Altynbekova, the girl branded 'too good looking' for volleyball, says social media obsession with her is a 'bit much'
- 2 Disney heiress Abigail disowns her share of family profits in West Bank company
- 3 Israel's propaganda machine is finally starting to misfire
- 4 Zayn Malik on Israel-Gaza: One Direction singer bombarded with Twitter death threats after posting #FreePalestine
- 5 'Hello mum, this is going to be hard for you to read ...'
Sally Farmiloe dead: Howards' Way actress, and former mistress of Jeffrey Archer, dies aged 60
Women in Turkey have a laugh in public at the deputy Prime Minister's expense
Sabina Altynbekova, the girl branded 'too good looking' for volleyball, says social media obsession with her is a 'bit much'
Disney heiress Abigail disowns her share of family profits in West Bank company
Australian model Robyn Lawley stages naked protest against huge coal mine seven times the size of Sydney Harbour
The secret report that helps Israel hide facts
Land for gas: Merkel and Putin discussed secret deal could end Ukraine crisis
Woman and two children killed by mob in riots over 'blasphemous' Facebook post in Pakistan
A day in the life of Vladimir Putin: The dictator in his labyrinth
Putin is 'thuggish, dishonest and reckless', says British ambassador to US
Richard Dawkins tweets: 'Date rape is bad, stranger rape is worse'
- < Previous
- Next >
iJobs Money & Business
£20000 - £24000 per annum: Harrington Starr: A leading provider of web based m...
£28000 - £32000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Secretary (Sales Team Support) - Mat...
Competitive (DOE): Guru Careers: We are looking for an Assistant Management Ac...
£600 - £700 per day + competitive: Orgtel: Senior Investment Accounting Change...