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Last Updated: Wednesday, 13 August, 2003, 14:31 GMT 15:31 UK
Platinum tribe looks to diversify
An Angloplats miner
The richest tribe in South Africa is looking to break its dependence on its traditional nest-egg, the platinum mining industry.

The new leader of the 300,000-strong Bafokeng of South Africa's North-West Province - Leruo Molotlegi, aged 35 and an architect by training - will be wrapped in a leopard-skin and crowned king on Saturday.

The traditions reflected in the ceremony need to be upheld in the face of modern culture, he told the Reuters news agency.

But with only 70-odd years left in the Royal Bafokeng Nation's platinum mines - on which the country earns a royalty of 22% from Impala Platinum and, in the near future, Anglo American Platinum as well - new sources of income are needed.

"We want, in half that time, 50% of our income to be reliant on means other than the mines," he told Reuters.

Leruo Molotlegi, new king of the Bafokeng
Leruo Molotlegi is looking to expand Bafokeng's funding sources
The money from the platinum reserves in Bafokeng - 334m rand ($45m; 28m) in the second half of 2002 - goes into a company owned by the tribe called the Royal Bafokeng Resource Holding, whose resources are earmarked for public works projects and social services.

The income should help build infrastructure to assist in the diversification, Mr Molotlegi said, as well as improving the education system.

In addition, he wants to add coal and manganese to the mining operations running in Bafokeng.


SEE ALSO:
Platinum soars to 23-year high
03 Feb 03  |  Business
Angloplat strikes mining deal
13 Aug 02  |  Business
Profits fall at platinum miner
23 May 02  |  Business
SA police break platinum ring
06 Nov 01  |  Africa


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