Mining minister suspends implementing new mining charter

14 July 2017 - 16:13 By Timeslive
Mosebenzi Zwane. File photo.
Mosebenzi Zwane. File photo.

Minister of Mineral Resources Mosebenzi Zwane has agreed to halt the implementation of the 2017 Reviewed Mining Charter‚ the Chamber of Mines said on Friday.

This decision comes in the light of the pending decision to an urgent interdict application brought by the Chamber of Mines last month.

In turn‚ the chamber agreed to the department’s request for extra time to prepare its answering affidavit to the interdict application. It also asked for the hearing‚ scheduled for July 18‚ to take place at a later date.

“The parties have asked the deputy judge president (DJP) of the high court to allocate a hearing date in September 2017. This date is subject to allocation by the DJP‚ which is expected to occur by around the end of July‚” the chamber said in a statement.

The chamber wants the charter set aside. It argued that should it be implemented in its current form‚ it will destroy the industry.

In the revised charter‚ the black ownership target was upped from 26% to 30% - a requirement mining companies will need to comply with within a 12-month period.

The African National Congress has expressed its unhappiness with the charter and Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba has also remarked on the negative market reaction.

In its papers the chamber argues that the publication of the 2017 charter was so obviously beyond the powers of the minister and that‚ in publishing the 2017 Charter‚ Zwane “has purported to exercise powers which reside exclusively with Parliament‚ which he has sought to usurp”.

It argued that the charter is “so confusing and confused‚ and so contradictory” that “not only are the mining … perplexed as to what they are required to do‚ but legal experts … “find themselves unable to provide clear advice to their mining and investment”.

The chamber said the charter was “a most egregious case of regulatory overreach … because of the clear threat to the separation of powers which that act presents”.