Minister of Mineral Resources, Mosebenzi Zwane
Minister of Mineral Resources, Mosebenzi Zwane

Zwane excluded from the initial mining charter talks

By Staff reporter Time of article published Feb 20, 2018

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CAPE TOWN - The Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane didn't get an invite to be part of the initial talks between President Cyril Ramaphosa and the Chamber of Mines around the Mining Charter impasse, according to Business Day.

This has been viewed as an indication that Zwane might not retain his position as the mineral resources minister under Ramaphosa's administration.

Ramaphosa has recently told the Chamber of Mines that he's committed to facilitating engagements between the chamber, department of mineral resources, labour and other stakeholders in order to finalise a mutually agreed Charter.

The portfolio committee on mineral resources has welcomed the announcement by Ramaphosa during the State of the Nation Address (SONA), where he said that government will be determined to work with mining companies, unions and communities to grow the mining sector.

Committee chairperson, Luzipo has also welcomed a call on mining companies to work with stakeholders to ensure that the mine accidents are reduced significantly.

Also read: NUM says another worker killed at Sibanye-Stillwater mine

A court battle between government and the SA Chamber of Mines, which was scheduled to play out in the high court on Monday, has been put on hold after Ramaphosa's office and the Chamber of Mines said on Sunday they would be negotiating out of court to resolve the row over the blueprint.

This comes as the Chamber went to court in a bid to challenge the implementation of the 2017 Reviewed Mining Charter which was gazetted in June.

The Chamber is seeking for the Charter to be reviewed or set aside, arguing that the it would be harmful to the industry and the economy because of its content, as well as the vague and contradictory language employed to convey that content.

"The Chamber of Mines, on behalf of its members, has agreed jointly with the Department of Mineral Resources to postpone its court application in respect of the Reviewed Mining Charter, which was due to be heard in the High Court on 19 to 21 February. The postponement serves to allow parties the space to engage and find an amicable solution," the presidency said in a statement.

Meanwhile, Ramaphosa is expected to make changes in the current cabinet of ministers. In his SONA speech, the president has promised to review the size and structure of the cabinet.

On Monday, during the SONA speech debate in the National Assembly, the Democratic Alliance leader, Mmusi Maimane has argued that trimming the cabinet of 35 ministers to 15 could save South Africa R4.7 billion.

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