Mine workers are seen underground in Modderfontein east mine, outside Johannesburg, file. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko
JOHANNESBURG – South Africa’s Chamber of Mines said it will not take part in a meeting with the mines minister to launch a much anticipated mining charter on Thursday because of a lack of consultation.
The charter, which sets industry targets for black ownership and participation in the sector, will become law this week, Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane has said.
South Africa’s mining industry has said that it has not been consulted enough and it is losing investment as a result.
Zwane is scheduled to hold a meeting of the forum through which the 2010 version of the charter was negotiated on Thursday ahead of a press briefing on the revised charter, which was approved by the cabinet in May.
The Chamber of Mines, which represents companies such as Anglo American and Glencore, said in a statement it will not be “participating in an attempt by the Department of Mineral Resources (DMR) to provide any support into what we believe has been a flawed process”.
The Mining Charter was introduced in 2002 to increase black ownership of the mining industry, which accounts for around 7 percent of South Africa’s economic output.
However the Chamber of Mines has taken the government to court over ownership interpretations in the latest draft, which requires companies to keep black ownership at 26 percent even if black shareholders sell their stakes.
The new charter also requires companies to provide housing and other amenities in mining communities, many of which are mired in poverty and neglect.
(Reporting by Nqobile Dludla; editing by Alexander Smith)