South Africa’s president says mining key to reviving economy

JOHANNESBURG (AP) — South African President Cyril Ramaphosa says the country’s mining sector will be crucial to reversing sluggish economic growth and high unemployment.

Ramaphosa spoke Tuesday at South Africa’s Mining Indaba, an annual industry event.

Since taking office last year, he has promised to get the economy back on track. Mining accounted for about 8 percent of the gross domestic product in 2017. The industry has lost tens of thousands of jobs in recent years, according to local media.

The Economic Freedom Fighters, a small but influential opposition party, says it would nationalize mines by 2023 if the party is voted into power this year.

Tensions continue over transforming the mining sector and other parts of the economy so that black South Africans have a greater stake.

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