Mosebenzi Zwane has told the Mining Indaba increasing black ownership in the sector was a priority. Photo: Simphiwe Mbokazi
Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane expects the long awaited Mining Charter to be finally gazetted very soon.

“Next week we will be gazetting the charter. It is a very straight forward charter. People must work together. We must transform our country,” Zwane said at the reopening of the Highveld structural mill in Emalahleni.

The review of the Mining Charter was gazetted in April for public comment and has yet to be finalised, despite Zwane initially saying that his intentions were to have the process finalised in March.

He previously said that further consultations were required before the charter was finalised.

Zwane also said last month that he was confident that the Mining Charter would be gazetted and “be reflective of the careful consideration given, substantive inputs received and with meaningful engagement with stakeholders”.

However, the Chamber of Mines of South Africa previously complained that it had not received feedback from the Department of Mineral Resources (DMR) on the draft mining charter.

Former chamber president Mike Teke said last month during the chamber’s annual general meeting that the chamber had not met with the DMR for two months.

He also said that the chamber wanted a response on their concerns and nothing had happened.

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It was reported that the chamber’s major bone of contention with the new charter was that the South African mining industry would face additional levies and taxes of R2billion to R3bn a year.

This while it already contributed R2bn for human resource development, which would be diverted into a new tax collection entity.

In 2016 the mining industry contributed R304bn towards South Africa’s gross domestic product (GDP), representing 7.3percent of overall GDP.

Apartheid legacy

The government aims to use the mining charter to address the legacy of apartheid in the mining industry.

In the previous charter government required that 26percent of mines should be in black hands, including black investors, employees and community groups.

Economic Development Minister Ebrahim Patel, who spoke via video link at the event, said that in 2015 the government had made an effort to save Highveld Steel, including getting foreign investors and establishing a lay-off fund which fell through.

“Today we are celebrating jobs and South African toughness in the face of adversity,” he said.