JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – The third iteration of South Africa’s Mining Charter will be gazetted within weeks, Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane said on Tuesday.
Addressing a media briefing ahead of the Department of Mineral Resources’ budget vote debate, Zwane said the charter, which was supposed to have been gazetted at the end of March, was delayed owing to input from stakeholders and investors.
The Mining Charter and the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act (MPRDA) will determine the extent to which empowerment credits can be claimed for past deals.
Legislation requires that black investors need to hold at least 26% of mining companies’ equity or assets.
“Consultation is one of the reasons why [the charter] has been delayed. We have provided a framework and engagement with various stakeholders has taken over a year,” Zwane said.
He added that more than 60 stakeholders outside of government, including communities and large mining companies, have been consulted with, noting that, once gazetted, the charter will be “reflective of careful consultations”.
Zwane noted that the charter needed “final touch ups” before being gazetted.
“When the Mining Charter is gazetted within a few weeks, it will be one of the most revolutionary tools [in South Africa],” he stated.
He added that 90% of stakeholders that have been consulted with have found common ground and said the department has to find a way to accommodate the 10% whose views were contrary to the compromises.
“We are trying to allow people to come up with the charter, instead of it being dictated [solely] by government. It will empower the people of South Africa.”
Zwane highlighted that the Mining Charter was not the primary mining legislation, pointing out that it was a regulatory tool that regulates what is stipulated in the MPRDA.
“We are giving stakeholders an opportunity to determine this tool to deal responsibly with issues of investment and business, as well as emphasising that stability, peace and prosperity in South Africa, will only happen if the majority of the population are no longer excluded from participating in the country’s economy,” he said.
Zwane added that the department also continues to support the progress that has been made with the MPRDA.
“It has now been seen by the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) and will come back to Parliament and be enacted soon,” he said of the amended legislation that had been held up in the recent past as a result of inadequate consultation at the level of the NCOP.