Gwede Mantashe Photo: African News Agency/ANA
JOHANNESBURG - Mineral Resources Minister Gwede Mantashe says he hopes to finalise the mining charter in the first half of this year.

Mantashe, who was appointed in February, told journalists in Pretoria on Tuesday that the ministry was developing a planned programme for consultation with communities on the charter.

“It is my wish that the final charter is finalised and gazetted during the first half of this year,” said Mantashe, who was giving feedback on consultation with stakeholders held at the weekend.

He said that two task teams were established following the consultations and would report back in three weeks.

“We concluded that two task teams should be established,” he said. “One will focus on transformation and the mining charter and the other will engage on issues of growth and competitiveness.”

Mantashe has embarked on a mission to strengthen the sector and cement relations that were left acrimonious by his predecessor, Mosebenzi Zwane, when he gazetted the charter last June.

Mantashe said that during the consultation at the weekend, it was agreed to revive the Mining Industry Growth Development and Employment Task Team.

The team was established in 2008, following the global economic meltdown.

“This revived structure will enable us, as social partners, to met regularly and proactively deal with issues confronting the sector, instead of waiting for a crisis to bring us together,” said Mantashe.

“The starting point for engagement is not to say there is nothing. It is to say you have problems with charter 3. What are those problems? Let us identify the problems in charter 3, which is what we did after a candid and tough engagement with the Chamber of Mines.

"They gave us their problems with charter 3 in writing, that is why the task teams will have something to work on. It is not a matter of being tied and married to the charter if something is genuine, we will change it. We cannot say there is a clean paper.”

The chamber said that it was seeking a practicable and workable outcome.