FILE PHOTO: Mosebenzi Zwane, South Africa's Minister of Mineral Resources, speaks at a media briefing at the Investing in African Mining Indaba in Cape Town
Pretoria – Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba on Thursday acknowledged that the new Mining Charter had triggered a storm and said he hoped it would not weaken the recession-hit economy further.

He called on his mineral resources counterpart Mosebenzi Zwane to meet with the sector as a matter of urgency and said National Treasury would be ready to come to the table too.

"The finalisation of policy in mining is critical to unlock investment," he told a briefing in Pretoria on steps to shore up the economy.

"The release of the Mining Charter is a welcome step but we note that there is already a reaction in the markets... there are a number of actions and concerns out there. We express the wish of National Treasury that the minister will engage with those sectors as a matter of urgency... to ensure that we do not have consequences that are going to weaken the economy further".

"National Treasury is prepared to participate in those sectors. We are interested parties in this regard we are ready to engage with all sectors to ensure we can find one another."

The new charter raises the required black-ownership of companies who seek to acquire new mining rights to 30%, with voting rights.

The Chamber of Mines had threatened to challenge it in court, saying the targets were unworkable and raised fears of capital flight.

Gigaba called the media briefing to announce that ministers in the economic cluster would meet in a fortnight to devise a strategy to salvage the local economy, following confirmation that it had entered a recession and a fresh round of credit ratings downgrades.

Gigaba said key ministers were also called together on Wednesday night by President Jacob Zuma to discuss the economic crisis. Zwane attended that meeting.

African News Agency