Johannesburg - South Africa plans to introduce rules requiring all local mines be 30 percent black-owned, regardless of whether they have previously sold shares or assets to black investors that later divested.
The Department of Mineral Resources intends raise the minimum black-ownership level from the current 26 percent to ensure more proceeds from the country’s natural resources flow to the black majority, Mining Minister Mosebenzi Zwane told reporters on Thursday in Pretoria, the capital. The charter will also require companies to pay 1 percent of annual revenue to communities and new prospecting rights will require black control, Zwane said.
A holder who claims a historical transaction that achieved 26 percent prior to the new Mining Charter, which Zwane presented on Thursday, “must top up to 30 percent within 12 months,” regardless of whether the earlier black shareholders still hold their position, according to a statement handed to reporters.
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Most mining companies reached the 26 percent level under previous versions of the charter but many of the black investors have since sold out. The Chamber of Mines, which represents mining companies, has said it’s willing to fight the government in court over the issue of getting credit from earlier deals, which it says would kill investment in the industry.