Mining Charter heavily in favour of mining companies, anti transformation - EFF | Fin24
 
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Mining Charter heavily in favour of mining companies, anti transformation - EFF

Sep 28 2018 16:42
Khulekani Magubane

The EFF has hit out at the revised Mining Charter, saying that its provisions and compromises are sloped heavily in favour of mining companies.

Minister of Mineral Resources Gwede Mantashe unpacked the details of the finalised Charter on Thursday.

In a statement, the EFF called the Charter "another capitulation by the ruling ANC to beneficiaries of the apartheid racist economy".

Its provisions and compromises "preserve[d] the status quo" for mining companies' benefit, the party said.

"Mining companies, like they did before, will opportunistically comply with the 30% [stipulation] and, later on, push out the charter prescribed shareholders after years of no dividends, as they loot proceeds of mining through aggressive tax avoidance," the statement claimed.

The latest version of the Charter allows mining companies who complied with the 26% empowerment stipulation in the previous version to enjoy empowered status even if their empowerment partner has exited their investment in the company. New applicants must comply with the 30% stipulation. 

The EFF, however, says allowing mining companies to comply with previous minimum black economic empowerment and employee shareholder stipulations, rather than meeting new standards, perpetuates the lack of transformation that the ANC claims to fight.

"'Once empowered, always empowered' is nothing but [President] Cyril Ramaphosa’s political expediency, and it is yet another reminder that Ramaphosa and the ANC will not hesitate to preserve the status quo of the apartheid economy at the expense of the lives of poor people, mine workers, communities and South Africans in general," the statement said.  

The statement also argued that mining rights holders exploited historically disadvantaged shareholders, as more than 64% of deals did not create any economic benefits.

"Mining companies continue to aggressively avoid tax and claim no profits to avoid paying dividends to shareholders. It is a fact that there is [a] widespread practice of fronting in the mining sector, which brings into question even the 20% of mining rights holders reported to have met ownership target," it said.

Fin24 previously reported that the B-BBEE commissioner was investigating numerous cases of fronting

Any recognition of the so-called "once empowered, always empowered" practice was "nonsensical", and demonstrated that the ANC was in "collaboration with reactionary forces" in efforts to undermine genuine transformation, the statement added.

Upon releasing and gazetting the Mining Charter on Thursday, Mantashe said the document was a work of compromise between industry, labour, government and mining communities.

"The department has prioritised proactive engagement with all our stakeholders. It is in our collective interest to ensure a sector that is thriving and transformed," he said.

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