Peo­ple will be heard on mine char­ter

The New Age (Western Cape) - - Inside - TNA REPORTER

THE Wits Cen­tre for Ap­plied Le­gal Stud­ies (Cals) and Lawyers for Hu­man Rights (LHR) were yes­ter­day, in a judg­ment handed down by the high court, granted leave to be­come co-ap­pli­cants in the Cham­ber of Mines’ ap­pli­ca­tion for a re­view of the Depart­ment of Min­eral Re­sources’ (DMR) re­viewed min­ing char­ter pub­lished in June.

Cals said pre­vi­ously that the char­ter had been writ­ten with­out in­put from the thou­sands of peo­ple most af­fected by min­ing, hence the ap­pli­ca­tion to be party to the mat­ter.

There was also lack of clar­ity in the char­ter, Cals said, adding that most min­ing com­mu­ni­ties had not heard of the min­ing char­ter.

The high court or­dered all par­ties to “strictly ad­here to the time lines” pre­vi­ously laid down by the deputy judge pres­i­dent of the Gaut­eng High Court for the serv­ing and fil­ing of plead­ings and heads of ar­gu­ment. The Cham­ber of Mines said it was study­ing the min­ing min­is­ter’s an­swer­ing af­fi­davit, which was served and filed last Fri­day.

The cham­ber’s re­ply­ing af­fi­davit must be filed and served on Novem­ber 22, the cham­ber said yes­ter­day. The dates for the hear­ing of the cham­ber’s re­view ap­pli­ca­tion by a full bench of the high court re­main De­cem­ber 13 and 14.

Cals will be seek­ing to have min­ing com­mu­ni­ties el­e­vated to the sta­tus of stake­hold­ers and the DMR will have to con­sult with them along­side other stake­hold­ers.

Cals and LHR are act­ing on be­half of three com­mu­nity or­gan­i­sa­tions – Min­ing Af­fected Com­mu­ni­ties United in Ac­tion, Women Af­fected by Min­ing United in Ac­tion, and the Min­ing and En­vi­ron­men­tal Jus­tice Net­work of South Africa.

The cham­ber orig­i­nally op­posed the ap­pli­ca­tions be­cause their grounds for re­view of the char­ter were dif­fer­ent from those of the cham­ber and time was a con­cern as only two days were set down for ar­gu­ments on highly tech­ni­cal mat­ters.

How­ever, the cham­ber said yes­ter­day it “noted the judg­ment handed down to­day by the high court and re­spects the out­come”, it said. – 701068

PIC­TURE: AFP

TRANS­FOR­MA­TION: Stake­hold­ers in the min­ing sec­tor are cross­ing swords over the ex­tent of in­put into the re­vised min­ing char­ter.

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