Suspending mining charter stifles transformation
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