South African Mineral Resources Minister Susan Shabangu said the government will not nationalise mines in the country despite calls to do so, Reuters reports.

The Congress of South African Trade Unions, the youth wing of the African National Congress and the Young Communist League have called on the government to nationalise mines to protect mining jobs during the economic downturn.

Shabangu told Reuters that the recent debate will not change the government’s stance.

“It must be a concern for investors, but I want to assure them that as government we are not going to go on that route,” Shabangu said.

Chamber of Mines chief executive Mzolisi Diliza said the South African Government could not afford to nationalise the industry, which is worth R2,000bn on the JSE, reports.