Mineral Resources Minister Gwede Mantashe. FILE PHOTO: ANA

JOHANNESBURG - The Black Business Council said on Tuesday it was consulting its members before commenting on South Africa's just-gazetted draft mining charter.

The government published the document last week after abandoning implementation of a new mining charter last year aimed at boosting the participation of non-whites in the sector, but which mining companies said was not viable.

The new charter, drafted after mineral resources minister Gwede Mantashe conducted country-wide consultations with stakeholders, is open for public comment for 30 days.

On Tuesday the BBC said it had assembled a team to look at the charter and provide input.

"As a matter of principle, the BBC would like to state that any charter must ensure that black people play a meaningful role in the mainstream economy," it said.

"The BBC would also like to remind those who are against transformation that the 26 percent ownership was just a minimum as the objective is to have ownership of the economy reflecting the demographic of South Africa."

The new draft compels existing mines to increase their black-ownership to 30 percent from 26 percent within five years.

Last week the Institute of Race Relations said the latest mining charter was better than the previous document but was still "profoundly flawed" and a continuing choke on investment.

- African News Agency (ANA)