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Johannesburg is more developed than Obuasi due to South African ownership of gold mines – Sam Jonah



Jonah says revenues from gold production are reinvested in communities in South Africa

Revenues from mines are always used to balance the budget in Ghana- Sam Jonah

Obuasi will be different if govt used parts of funds from stock exchange listing to develop it – Jonah

Businessman and Chancellor of the University of Cape Coast, Sir Samuel Esson Jonah, has stated that mining communities in South Africa are more developed than those in Ghana because the mines there belong to South Africans.

He explained that because the mines belong to South Africans, they re-invest revenues they get from the mines back in the communities which leads to their development.

Sam Jonah, who said this in an interview on GTV monitored by GhanaWeb, added that mining communities in Ghana are not developed because the mines are owned by foreigners who take all the revenue they recoup outside the country.

“When people say look at Obuasi and look at Johannesburg we all produce gold, well you are right Johannesburg was a gold town, Obuasi was and is a gold town, so is Tarkwa, so is Konongo. Do you know what the difference is? The difference is that in Johannesburg the owners of the mines were South Africans, so they had nowhere else to put their money and so they invested their money in their town and the government applied the taxes in the town and the country.

“Until 1969, Ghana, as a country had no shareholder interest in Obuasi (Ashanti Gold Limited), which has been operating since 1895. In 1969 the Ghana government was given 15 percent of the company … then in 1972 General Acheampong took up the commanding height and assume 55 percent interest in the mines, that is where for the first time the people of Ghana became prominent owners of the mines since 1895.

He added that the government got US$ 330 million when the ASHGold was listed on the US Stock exchange but unfortunately none of the funds was used to develop the Obuasi.

“… they (government) got US$ 330 million off the table, cash, if even a $100 has been invested in Obuasi, Obuasi will have been a different place but it used to balance the budget because consistently we have lived beyond our means,” he explained.

He reiterated that Johannesburg is developed because the mines there were owned by South Africans unlike here in Ghana where no Ghanaian owns part of our gold mining companies.

Sir Sam Jonah is the executive chairman of Jonah Capital, an equity fund based in Johannesburg, and is considered one of Ghana’s richest men.



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