South Africa Wants to Finalize Mining Charter by Month-End

  • Ruling ANC will only conclude inputs to charter by end-October
  • Mines chamber, minerals department still negotiating solution

South Africa wants to finalize a charter that mandates measures designed to boost black participation in the mining industry by the end of this month, Deputy Mineral Resources Minister Godfrey Oliphant said.

The Chamber of Mines, which represents mining companies including Anglo American Plc and Glencore Plc, took the government to court earlier this year over the Mining Charter, which plans to force mines to cede 26 percent stakes to black investors even if they had already done so and those stakes had been sold on. The two sides are still negotiating a solution.

“With all the hate we’re generating we’re moving forward,” Oliphant said in speech at a mining conference in Johannesburg.

South Africa’s economy, the continent’s most industrialized, was built on mining companies, who for over a century, during whites-only rule, profited from cheap black labor and lax environmental laws that have today left communities contending with contaminated water and toxic mine dumps.

The country is the world’s biggest source of platinum and manganese and Africa’s largest gold, chrome and coal producer. Mining accounts for about half of the nation’s exports with members of the chamber, which represents about 90 percent of the its mineral production, contributing 11.3 billion rand ($823 million) in taxes a year, according to the organization.

Enoch Godongwana, head of the economic transformation committee at South Africa’s ruling African National Congress, said the nation’s mining-policy environment “has not been helpful.”

The party will “conclude its inputs” on the Mining Charter by the end of the month, he said at the conference.

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