New empowerment policy needed for mining in SA – IRR

Cape Town – The ownership targets set out in the third revision of the Mining Charter will primarily benefit South Africa’s state mining company and a small elite at the pinnacle of the ANC, says Anthea Jeffery, head of policy research at the Institute of Race Relations (IRR).

The new Mining Charter, gazetted on June 15 this year, has upped black ownership targets significantly – all existing holders of mining rights are required to increase their black economic empowerment (BEE) ownership from 26% to 30% in a year.

There are also additional BEE requirements, such as that applicant for new prospecting rights will need to have a minimum 50% plus one black person shareholding, while mining companies will be compelled to distribute 1% of their annual turnover to BEE shareholders every year.

“A key risk from the new Mining Charter,” Jeffery notes, “is that its onerous requirements and often vague terms will pave the way for further abuses of its kind.

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