Revised mining charter ‘will empower the people of SA’, Mosebenzi Zwane says
The revised Mining Charter that Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane said on Tuesday would be a “revolutionary tool” will be gazetted in its final form in a few weeks.
The minister would not disclose details of the final charter that has been under discussion with more than 60 non-government stakeholders for more than a year.
Since November 2016, the Department of Mineral Resources has repeatedly promised that the gazetting of the final charter was imminent.
The absence of a final charter has caused deep uncertainty over the legislative framework governing the industry and acted as a brake on investment.
Addressing the media ahead of his budget vote speech in the National Assembly, Zwane said the charter would take into account the views of local and foreign investors.
The minister believed there was agreement among the stakeholders on 85% to 90% of the revised charter, with 10% reflecting other views.
“It will empower the people of South Africa,” Zwane said, adding that the charter also tackled the “once-empowered, always-empowered” principle, which had been a cause of dispute with the Chamber of Mines.
The genuine concerns of all stakeholders including those of the big mining companies, had been taken into account, Zwane said. He said: “We believe that [the once empowered, always empowered principle] was a genuine cry.”
The way it had been dealt with “will mean we will stop running to the courts and work together as the people of South Africa”.
In November 2016, the department published revisions to the draft charter, which was published in April that year. The Chamber of Mines was unhappy about the changes.
The revisions included the introduction of more demanding requirements for procurement from black companies; the establishment of a Mining Transformation and Development Agency to replace the social development fund and the ministerial skills development fund in the initial draft; and a new requirement that 0.15% of annual turnover be dedicated to research and development.