Ekurhuleni Mayor Mzwandile Masina, who oversees one of the country's largest municipal budgets, was hit by the coals after his tweet calling for the Durban port to be closed to facilitate processing.
Economists said on Monday that it would be devastating for SA.
Masina tweeted on Sunday: “Democracy is good and good, but to gain our full independence from the Western imperialists, we need to close the port of Durban so that no minerals leave this country. As a result, international manufacturing will fall to SA as we own 90% of the platinum required for the works. "
Despite his key position in Ekurhuleni, Masina is well known for his strange comments. Prior to the 2017 ANC elective conference, Nasrec, he told News24 that he would not act under President Cyril Ramaphosa if he won the party presidential race.
He was a fervent supporter of Ramaphosa's rival, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma. However, he turned back when Ramaphosa won.
The mayor is seen as part of the radical faction of economic transformation, aligned with former President Jacob Zuma. He also supported comments by ANC Secretary General Ace Magashule on the nationalization of the SA Reserve Bank.
Economist Mike Schüssler of Economists.co.za said Masina's statement was not "thoughtful."
Schüssler said that if the country does not rotate, the mines will not make enough money and close down.
"What does he think will happen to the platinum and gold industry or someone who doesn't receive money for a while? They won't be able to pay their workers and workers won't be able to send money home.
"Stores won't be able to buy from wholesalers; wholesalers won't be able to buy from manufacturers. This will have a big negative impact on our economy," Schüssler said.
Schüssler said the country also has neither the electricity capacity nor the money to benefit the raw materials.
“First we need to build power plants and that will take a few years. We need to get money we don't have.
"It may close the port of Durban, but we will not be able to pay for our cars, medicines and cell phones we import."
Econometrix director and chief economist Dr. Azar Jammine said Masina's comment makes no sense and shows no understanding of economics.
"We will not be able to buy imported goods and services, as 30% of what we spend is on imported goods. There will be a 30% reduction in the things we can afford.
“What he's missing is that people will start using minerals other than platinum to fight pollution. As it is now, platinum is used only in diesel engines, and gasoline engines use palladium.
“Do you close the port of Durban just to stop platinum exports? Platinum is a very dense metal. You don't have to close the port to stop platinum exports, ”Jammine said.
With personal writer