02 Members of The National Union of mine workers sing and dance before the launch of of NUM National congress. Picture Antoine de Ras: 28/05/09
The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) on Friday said while it welcomed the reviewed Mining Charter gazetted last week, the government-set targets for black ownership of the country’s mineral wealth could have gone further.

The union welcomed the introduction of a 30percent 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 35percent as a minimum target by 2022.

“We do nonetheless appreciate the increase from the initial 26percent to the 30percent minimum BEE shareholding in the industry,” NUM said.

Disappointed

NUM said it was however disappointed that Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane had not increased economic benefits for mineworkers and mining communities to 10percent.

“Unfortunately and to our disappointment on this aspect the minister (has) limited employees’ and communities’ ownership to 8percent each on the designated 30percent BEE ownership in mining companies, thus BEE entrepreneurs and current institutional owners remain with 84percent (with a minimum of 14percent in the hands of black entrepreneurs).”

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The union also slammed the Chamber of Mines’ intention to interdict the government from implementing the charter, saying this was “regrettable and regressive”.

Admission

“Especially in the light of the Chamber of Mines’ own admission that they have far achieved the contemplated 30percent ownership target, this leaves us with this question: in whose interest is the chamber opposing transformation in the mining industry?”

The union said that it would mobilise communities against mining houses opposed to the reviewed charter.


ANA