10 May 2020
The battle waged by the Minerals Council South Africa (MCSA) against Mineral Resources Minister Gwede Mantashe at the North Gauteng High Court goes to the heart of transformation in a sector notorious for the exploitation of black people.
MCSA’s spokesperson Charmane Russell said the council wants a judicial review of certain aspects of the Mining Charter gazetted in September 2018. The MCSA objects to a clause in the regulations that states that new mining rights require a minimum of 30% black economic empowerment shareholding.
It’s important to disagree with both Mantashe and the MCSA. In 2020, the percentage of black ownership of the minerals of our country ought to drastically change. Our view is that a 30% stake for black participants is woefully inadequate. It is sheepish in the extreme for a black government to be asking for an accommodation in mining at only 30%. Why not 50%?
We understand that this is not Mantashe’s own determinations – but we raise it understanding that, as chairman of the ANC, the minister is best positioned to argue within that black people are under-represented.
We report elsewhere on these pages that the charter also demands that companies must spend a minimum of 70% of mining goods procurement and 80% of services procurement on South African companies – within five years.
Why would the MCSA not want to spend or procure from other South African companies? Should MCSA comply, this will generate activity in the local economy. Why is that such a bad thing for mining companies?