BEE ‘CODES NO WORRY YET’

Finweek English Edition - - Companies & Markets -

AN­GLO AMER­I­CAN has no con­cerns yet about the newly gazetted Codes of Good Prac­tice for the South African min­ing in­dus­try, a doc­u­ment crit­ics have slammed for fun­da­men­tally al­ter­ing the way empowerment is trans­acted. “We’re not wor­ried now,” says An­glo Amer­i­can CEO Cyn­thia Car­roll of the codes. “We’re not at that point.”

Ac­cord­ing to the doc­u­ment, which is in­tended as a guide­line for empowerment in the min­ing in­dus­try, own­er­ship “cred­its” can only be claimed when the empowerment part­ners have achieved “net value”. How­ever, net value is only achieved when the empowerment firm is un­en­cum­bered. More­over, net value must vest two years af­ter the trans­ac­tion agree­ment.

“If we un­der­stand that cor­rectly, the doc­u­ment ef­fec­tively says that any sale to an empowerment body will not ac­crue full credit if that… body still has debt as­so­ci­ated with that pur­chase two years af­ter the deal was done,” says stock­bro­ker­age RBC Cap­i­tal Mar­kets in a note to its clients.

“There’s a way to work with the Cham­ber of Mines and the DME (SA’s Min­er­als Depart­ment), which is step-by-step. We’ll put our cards on the ta­ble. Every­one has to be trans­par­ent about it,” says Car­roll of the codes.

Com­ment­ing on wage ne­go­ti­a­tions with the Na­tional Union of Minework­ers, Car­roll says: “Frans Baleni [NUM sec­re­tary gen­eral] knows what we’re try­ing to do. It doesn’t mean giv­ing hand­outs; it means be­com­ing the most pro­duc­tive platinum pro­ducer – and we’re not that to­day.”

Car­roll says the An­glo group had a track record of work­ing with Gov­ern­ment and the unions, in­clud­ing the suc­cess­ful tri­par­tite safety sum­mit that ini­ti­ated a process Car­roll ul­ti­mately sees as be­hind cur­rent com­pany-spe­cific and in­dus­try-wide safety im­prove­ments. “I’d mod­estly sug­gest fa­tal­ity rate im­prove­ments of 25% as an in­dus­try and 33% as a com­pany were the re­sult of that ini­tia­tive.”

Knows what is go­ing on. Frans Baleni

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