Gazetting of Min­ing Char­ter is im­mi­nent

The Star Early Edition - - NEWS - Di­neo Faku

MIN­ERAL Re­sources Min­is­ter Mosebenzi Zwane ex­pects the long awaited Min­ing Char­ter to be fi­nally gazetted very soon.

“Next week we will be gazetting the char­ter. It is a very straight for­ward char­ter. Peo­ple must work to­gether. We must trans­form our coun­try,” Zwane said at the re­open­ing of the Highveld struc­tural mill in Emalahleni.

The re­view of the Min­ing Char­ter was gazetted in April for pub­lic com­ment and has yet to be fi­nalised, de­spite Zwane ini­tially say­ing that his in­ten­tions were to have the process fi­nalised in March.

He pre­vi­ously said that fur­ther con­sul­ta­tions were re­quired be­fore the char­ter was fi­nalised.

Zwane also said last month that he was con­fi­dent that the Min­ing Char­ter would be gazetted and “be re­flec­tive of the care­ful con­sid­er­a­tion given, sub­stan­tive in­puts re­ceived and with mean­ing­ful en­gage­ment with stake­hold­ers”.

How­ever, the Cham­ber of Mines of South Africa pre­vi­ously com­plained that it had not re­ceived feed­back from the De­part­ment of Min­eral Re­sources (DMR) on the draft min­ing char­ter.

For­mer cham­ber pres­i­dent Mike Teke said last month dur­ing the cham­ber’s an­nual gen­eral meet­ing that the cham­ber had not met with the DMR for two months.

He also said that the cham­ber wanted a re­sponse on their con­cerns and noth­ing had hap­pened.

It was re­ported that the cham­ber’s ma­jor bone of con­tention with the new char­ter was that the South African min­ing in­dus­try would face ad­di­tional levies and taxes of R2 bil­lion to R3bn a year.

This while it al­ready con­tributed R2bn for hu­man re­source de­vel­op­ment, which would be di­verted into a new tax col­lec­tion en­tity.

In 2016 the min­ing in­dus­try con­tributed R304bn to­wards South Africa’s gross do­mes­tic prod­uct (GDP), rep­re­sent­ing 7.3 per­cent of over­all GDP.

Apartheid legacy

The gov­ern­ment aims to use the min­ing char­ter to ad­dress the legacy of apartheid in the min­ing in­dus­try.

In the pre­vi­ous char­ter gov­ern­ment re­quired that 26 per­cent of mines should be in black hands, in­clud­ing black in­vestors, em­ploy­ees and com­mu­nity groups.

Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment Min­is­ter Ebrahim Pa­tel, who spoke via video link at the event, said that in 2015 the gov­ern­ment had made an ef­fort to save Highveld Steel, in­clud­ing get­ting for­eign in­vestors and es­tab­lish­ing a lay­off fund which fell through.

“To­day we are cel­e­brat­ing jobs and South African tough­ness in the face of ad­ver­sity,” he said.

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