Zwane confident courts will find in favour of new Mining Charter


File: Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane is hosting an imbizo in Middelburg, Mpumalanga to discuss the new Mining Charter.

JOHANNESBURG - Minister of Mineral Resources Mosebenzi Zwane said on Tuesday that he had had confidence the courts would rule in his department’s favour after the Chamber of Mines application for an urgent interdict on the 2017 Mining Charter.

The chamber applied on Monday for an urgent interdict to prevent the implementation of the Reviewed Mining Charter, as published by the Department of Mineral Resources earlier this month.

The chamber said an application to have the updated charter reviewed in terms of the Promotion of Administrative Justice Act (PAJA) would follow in due course.

Zwane said it was virtually impossible to please all parties with any legislation developed.

He said he respected the chamber’s decision but did not support it as the Mining Charter sought to achieve redress and transformation.

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“It is our view that those who support this Mining Charter support our quest for transformation, and those who are in opposition to the charter are, in fact, opposing the transformation objectives of the government, and we stand ready to defend the interests of South Africans in this regard,” Zwane said.

“It is unfortunate that the Chamber of Mines has chosen to take this route, but its decision is respected, and the democracy we fought for allows all of us to exercise our rights in this manner. We have confidence in the courts’ ability to act with diligence on this matter.”

The new Mining Charter sets new black ownership targets for the industry. New mining rights holders must have 30-percent black ownership, shared among employees, communities and black entrepreneurs.

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Those applying for prospecting rights are required to have a “minimum of 50-percent plus one black person shareholding”.

The chamber’s high court application noted that its members were fully committed to the transformational objectives of the Minerals and Petroleum Resources Development Act.

But the chamber said it was opposed to the Mining Charter as it “attempts to subvert those objectives by the unlawful publication of instruments which purport to give effect to such objectives but in fact undermine them”.

The court is yet to announce the date on which it will hear the application for the interdict.

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