27/04/2011 President Jacob Zuma at the Union Building during the freedom day celebration. Picture : Sizwe Ndingane

Johannesburg - South Africa's mining industry cannot continue to make “huge profits” without benefiting the country's citizens, President Jacob Zuma said on Monday.

While the mining industry had shaped the country, it had a lot of shortcomings, such as the migrant labour system, he said in an interview on CNBC's Political Exchange.

He sought to allay investor fears about changes to resource rents, mining royalties and taxes.

“People will always have some nervousness when we say things... When Zimbabwe said indigenisation people jumped all over. Today people go to Zimbabwe to be part of indigenisation.”

However, things could not stay the same.

“Mining can't make huge profits with no benefits to the people of the country... If you are not addressing the economic need of the country, you must know we are dealing with a problem.” - Sapa