President Jacob Zuma has backed the controversial new Mining Charter, saying it would not adversely affect the sector, but would bring about much-needed change in the industry. Responding to questions in the National Assembly on Thursday, Zuma said Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane had consulted with the Cabinet before unveiling the charter last week. The Chamber of Mines and various stakeholders inside and outside the ANC have accused Zwane of pushing ahead with the contentious regulations without much consultation. "I believe in what the minister has done … we have said we need to do something to change the economy and ignite it," Zuma said. "We could not stay at the same place particularly with mining … we have not seen visible change … we need to change ownership [patterns] and open it up to those who have never participated…. "This cannot be an action that will [hurt] the sector," said Zuma.

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