Last week, the chamber vehemently rejected the 2017 Reviewed Mining Charter gazetted by the minerals minister Mosebenzi Zwane, saying that the Department of Mineral Resources (DMR) had not had meaningful consultation before the introduction of some of the items, and thus it would approach the courts to stop the department from implementing it.
The targets included new mining rights, holders having 30% black ownership to be shared among employees, communities and black entrepreneurs.
Mining rights holders who have complied with the previous target of 26% have to “top up” to 30% within 12 months.
Those applying for prospecting rights would be required to have a “minimum of 50% plus one black person shareholding”.
These shareholders must have voting rights. The chamber said its office bearers conveyed to the ANC delegation their perspectives on the challenges the DMR’s new mining charter presents to the industry, in terms of both the flawed process and content.
The chamber also said its office bearers also advised on the court actions that are now being prepared for. Roger Baxter, chief executive of the chamber, said in a statement that the point was made that legal action against government of this sort is seen only as a matter of last resort and is brought only once all other avenues have failed.
“The industry remains committed to transformation as a national imperative. We need to continue on the industry’s transformation journey that has been going on in earnest since the original charter came into effect more than 13 years ago," Baxter said.
"But it needs to be based on workable targets and guidelines that enable an effective transformation process proceeding in a competitive and growing industry. As we have previously indicated, the DMR charter fails in this respect.”
The ANC has also asked to meet Zwane in order for him to explain and clarify some of the charter's items.