Sus­pend­ing min­ing char­ter sti­fles trans­for­ma­tion

The Star Early Edition - - LETTERS -

THE AGREE­MENT be­tween the Cham­ber of Mines and the De­part­ment of Min­eral Re­sources (DMR) to sus­pend the im­ple­men­ta­tion of the min­ing char­ter un­til Septem­ber is re­gret­table. The de­ci­sion reaf­firms the Cham­ber of Mines’ anti-trans­for­ma­tion pos­ture.

The re­cently gazetted min­ing char­ter was in­tended to be an agent of change in an in­dus­try that does not have an im­pres­sive track record on trans­for­ma­tion. The Cham­ber of Mines has missed an op­por­tu­nity to rad­i­cally set the course for trans­for­ma­tion and sus­tain­able growth of the sec­tor.

Min­ing is the back­bone of our econ­omy; con­se­quently trans­for­ma­tion of the min­ing sec­tor is im­per­a­tive.

The new char­ter gives min­ing com­pa­nies 12 months to raise their Black Eco­nomic Em­pow­er­ment Share­hold­ing from 26% to 30%. Such for­ward plan­ning will guar­an­tee ef­fi­cient trans­for­ma­tion and sus­tain­able growth of the sec­tor to ad­dress the in­equal­i­ties in the distri­bu­tion of in­come and op­por­tu­ni­ties.

The ar­gu­ment by the Cham­ber of Mines that el­e­ments of the new min­ing char­ter will scare away in­vestors is flawed. There can­not be a last­ing trans­for­ma­tion with­out the in­clu­sion of the black ma­jor­ity.

Min­is­ter Mosebenzi Zwane should not have con­ceded to the sus­pen­sion of the min­ing char­ter and thus de­layed the mean­ing­ful in­clu­sion of em­ploy­ees and com­mu­ni­ties in this in­dus­try.

The Cham­ber of Mines’ ur­gent in­ter­dict ap­pli­ca­tion is an at­tack on the very essence of trans­for­ma­tion in the min­ing in­dus­try.

As a reg­u­la­tor and pol­i­cy­maker, DMR must en­sure that this new min­ing char­ter is en­forced as a trans­for­ma­tion tool that is go­ing to en­able the mean­ing­ful par­tic­i­pa­tion of black peo­ple, women, and lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties in the main­stream of the econ­omy in a man­ner that has a pos­i­tive im­pact on em­ploy­ment, in­come re­dis­tri­bu­tion and eco­nomic growth. Ngoako Mat­sha Tem­bisa

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