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South Africa welcomes Tegeta coal mine sale by Oakbay

Department of mineral resources says the sale of the coal mine could save jobs in South Africa.

South Africa’s government welcomes the sale of the Tegeta coal mine by Oakbay Investments to a Swiss-based firm for $225 million, citing the jobs the sale could save, the department of mineral resources said on Wednesday.

Tegeta Exploration and Resources, whose mines supply coal to South African state-owned power utility Eskom, will be sold to Switzerland-based Charles King SA for 2.97 billion rand ($225 million), with the buyer committing to having a 30% minimum black-owned stake.

Oakbay is owned by the Gupta family, business friends of President Jacob Zuma accused of using their links with the 75-year old leader to wield undue influence and win lucrative state contracts. Both Zuma and the family deny any wrongdoing. 

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“The Guptas have been doing business in South Africa for over twenty years, from humble beginnings to a medium sized empire which was fast growing and entering into strategic sectors such as mining which white business perceives as its family jewel. The tone of the family statement shows that it was a very difficult decision taken under duress. The family seem to have decided to abandon their own interests for sake of their workers and country.

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