Mining Charter unclear on benefits for mining-affected communities
Proposals fail to answer questions about the development of host communities and enforcement of social plans
The new draft Mining Charter, gazetted last week by Mineral Resources Minister Gwede Mantashe, makes a number of changes relating to mine community development. This is particularly important because of February’s high court ruling that mining-affected communities must be included in charter negotiations. But the changes leave so many questions unanswered it is unclear whether they are a positive development for host communities. The requirement that 8% of the 30% black economic empowerment shareholding for new mining rights must be distributed to host communities in the form of a community trust remains, as does the requirement that a further 8% shareholding be distributed to employees. Both of these distributions must take place within five years of a mining right being granted. It is not clear how these 8% distributions will be calculated, as many host community members are also employees. In addition, there is no explanation of how community trusts are to be managed as the previ...