2000

UNITED DEMOCRATIC MOVEMENT

MEDIA RELEASE


ORYX: SA GOVERNMENT MUST TAKE HEED

STATEMENT ISSUED BY NELSON RAMODIKE, MP
UDM SPOKESPERSON FOR MINERALS AND ENERGY

The South African government must take heed of the fact that Oryx Natural Resources was forced to put its listing on the London Stock Exchange on hold. This apparently because the British government asked questions about the risks associated with Oryx, the value of assets and some of Oryx's shareholders.

Apparently, the British government felt that Oryx's assets in the war-torn Democratic Republic of Congo, as well as alleged involvement of the Zimbabwean government, placed a huge question mark behind this company's proposed listing. Human rights groups have also condemned Oryx's agreement with the Zimbabwean government to exploit a diamond concession worth an estimated $1-billion, as "conflict diamonds".

In the global context, South Africa must be reminded that the international community would see any political sympathy and ties that South Africa might have with both the Congo and Zimbabwe in the same light that they see Oryx activities.

South Africa is blessed with the occurrence of many minerals, often in large quantities and of strategic importance to it and to other nations. The UDM believes that our Country's huge mineral potential can provide a significant contribution to primary wealth creation.

South Africa cannot afford that the international community isolate South Africa because of the blunders of both Kabila and Mugabe.

Enquiries:
Nelson Ramodike, MP
UDM Spokesperson for Minerals and Energy

Cape Town
13 June 2000