Mineral Resources Minister Gwede Mantashe. Picture: MASI LOSI
Mineral Resources Minister Gwede Mantashe. Picture: MASI LOSI

SA’s mining industry’s hope of revisiting the transformation and growth of the resources sector were dashed at weekend talks with new Mineral Resources Minister Gwede Mantashe.

The industry had hoped for a fresh and innovative plan to address transformation and growth in the sector after acceding to a request from Cyril Ramaphosa in one of his first acts as president to postpone its court case in February to review and set aside the shambolic and damaging third iteration of the charter, which was drawn up under the tenure of former mines minister Mosebenzi Zwane.

Chamber of Mines CEO Roger Baxter and its president Mxolisi Mgojo both spoke of the optimism that Ramaphosa's intervention had sparked and how they wanted to use the opportunity to develop a new document to change the industry, moving away from the charters that have been in place since 2004. They have both said using the third version of the charter, which has numerous flaws and targets which would damage the sector, was not an option.

However, that is exactly what was presented as the basis of talks at the weekend, with the third charter presented for talks, with all parties at the talks invited to say what was problematic with the document. The charters have limited lives, allowing new ministers to force changes on the industry at intervals, leading to prolonged uncertainty and a drying up of investment in new mines, exploration and projects.

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