File image of a mine
CAPE TOWN – The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) said on Friday that while it welcomed the reviewed Mining Charter gazetted this week, the government-set targets for black ownership of the country’s mineral wealth could have gone further.
In a statement, the union welcomed the introduction of a 30 percent black-ownership target for all mines.
“Even though the department and the minister did not implement the incremental targets as per our submissions, thus industry achieving 35 percent as a minimum target by 2022. We do nonetheless appreciate the increase from the initial 26 percent to the 30 percent minimum BEE shareholding in the industry,” NUM said.
The union was, however, disappointed that Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane had not increased the economic benefit for mine workers and mining communities to 10 percent.
“Unfortunately, to our disappointment on this aspect, the minister limited employees' and communities' ownership to 8 percent each on the designated 30 percent BEE ownership in mining companies, thus BEE entrepreneurs and current institutional owners remain with 84 percent (with a minimum of 14 percent in the hands of black entrepreneurs).”
The Union slammed the Chamber of Mines of South Africa’s intention to interdict government from implementing the charter, saying this was “regrettable and regressive”.
“Especially in the light of the Chamber of Mines own admission that they have far achieved the contemplated 30 percent ownership target, this leaves us with this question: in whose interest is the chamber opposing transformation in the mining industry?
“They might be taking the government to court, but from where we are standing, they are against South Africans benefiting and sharing in the profits emanating from our mineral wealth.”
NUM said it would mobilise communities against mining houses opposed to the reviewed charter.