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Amplats donates land amid South African distribution discussions

Anglo American Platinum Ltd., or Amplats, gave 270 hectares of land to communities situated in the ore-rich Rustenburg area in South Africa, as ruling party African National Congress looks to amend the law to make expropriation of land easier, Bloomberg News reported March 14, citing company executives.

This is the second donation of land to the community by Amplats, bringing the total donated since 2014 to 473 hectares. The company plans to donate land around Northam in the province of Limpopo as well.

Amplats CEO Chris Griffith said the areas being mined are not threatened by expropriation, adding that the donation shows "how business and mining companies can embrace land reform to release well-located urban land available for low-cost housing so that the poor can own property and live close to economic opportunities."

This sentiment echoes comments made in December 2018 by Mark Cutifani, CEO of Amplats parent company Anglo American PLC, who said South Africa needs an inclusive and sustainable solution to land reform.

The African National Congress has indicated it plans to make changes to the constitution to address racially distorted ownership structures dating back to colonialism and white-minority rule. This is despite warnings by opposition parties and organizations representing farmers that they will find any such amendments in court.

Mining Minister Gwede Mantashe issued a challenge to other platinum miners in the area to follow Anglo's example and donate more land to the Rustenburg community.