Africa Mining: SA Deputy President urges return to drawing board as legal battle brews

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa
Deputy President A on returning to the Mining Charter drawing board. Camera Work and Editing: Darlene Creamer 20.6.2017 (source: Miningweekly)
South Africa’s Chamber of Mines is preparing legal action in a bid to ban the implementation of the country’s new mining charter that has shocked the industry.

The chamber said yesterday it was making progress on two separate legal actions and in a second statement, confirmed it had met an ANC delegation led by secretary general Gwede Mantashe to convey “the challenges the DMR’s new mining charter presents to the industry”.

The Department of Mineral Resources’ new charter, announced last week, increases the minimum black economic empowerment ownership from 26% to 30% and imposes new revenue payouts and increased requirements for goods and services to come from BEE entities.

The chamber said it had asked the Deputy Judge President of the High Court, Gauteng, to re-enroll the chamber’s Application for a Declaratory Order in respect of the continuing consequences of the black empowerment issue, an action that was ‘paused’ last year by agreement between the chamber and the DMR.

The chamber said its lawyers were also in the process of drafting an application for an interdict to prevent the implementation of the Reviewed Mining Charter, as well as an application to have the Reviewed Mining Charter reviewed in terms of the Promotion of Administrative Justice Act.

The chamber said it told the DMR legal action against the government was “a matter of last resort and is brought only once all other avenues have failed”.

CEO Roger Baxter said the mining industry was committed to transformation.

“But it needs to be based on workable targets and guidelines that enable an effective transformation process proceeding in a competitive and growing industry,” he said.

“As we have previously indicated, the DMR charter fails in this respect.”

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