Court approach on mining compliance delayed | Fin24
 
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Court approach on mining compliance delayed

May 06 2015 15:57
Andre Janse van Vuuren

Johannesburg - The mines ministry has yet to ask a court whether operators may claim to meet black-ownership rules even after shareholders have sold their stake in assets, missing an April deadline to obtain finality on the matter.

Mineral Resources Minister Ngoako Ramatlhodi said in March the ministry wants a court judgment by April on the requirements of the 2004 Mining Charter, which compelled companies to have a 26% target of black ownership by the end of 2014 as a way to narrow economic disparities created by apartheid rule.

READ: Ramatlhodi to lift lid on mining compliance

Some investors that acquired the so-called empowerment stakes at attractive terms and subsequently sold them, diluting the producers’ black shareholding.

The ministry was still finalising its application even though the matter remained “urgent,” Mahlodi Muofhe, a spokesperson for Ramatlhodi, said by phone on Tuesday. “We don’t want to waste the court’s time by filing papers which are not well-cooked.”

Mining companies in South Africa risk losing permits for non-compliance to the charter, which also includes requirements on housing provision and training.

READ: Courts to decide on mines ownership compliance

Some political parties, such as the Economic Freedom Fighters, want mines to be nationalised to speed up economic reform in the country that has the world’s biggest reserves of platinum and manganese.

“Key to the implementation of the charter is the understanding” of its provisions, Muofhe said. “The minister wishes to implement the Mining Charter as soon as possible; it is regrettable this misunderstanding of the interpretation is basically keeping things on hold.”


ngoako ramatlhodi  |  bee  |  mining
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