The Minerals Council South Africa said on Wednesday it had filed an application for the judicial review and setting aside of certain clauses of the mining charter published last year.
The council said it was engaged in ongoing attempts to reach a compromise with Mineral Resources Minister Gwede Mantashe on “certain provisions that are problematic for the industry, and which would be detrimental to its sustainability”.
CEO Roger Baxter reiterated the stance of the council – which represents major mining companies operating in South Africa – that most aspects of the charter represented a reasonable and workable framework, but that the provision that it did not fully recognise the continuing consequences of previous empowerment transactions, particularly in respect of mining right renewals and transfers of these rights, was untenable.
“Not only does this provision, in particular, have a severely dampening effect on the attractiveness of mining in the eyes of investors, but it is also, in our view, a breach of the declaratory order on the matter issued by the North Gauteng High Court [in Pretoria] in April,” he said.
The Minerals Council said it had delayed bringing the application in the hope that discussions with Mantashe would be successful but, given the 180-day deadline imposed by the Promotion of Administrative Justice Act, it was obliged to launch the review proceedings on March 26.
“The Minerals Council and its members remain fully committed to transformation of the mining sector in South Africa, with the aim of achieving job creation, economic growth, competitiveness, and social upliftment and development,” Baxter said.
“But these goals will only be realised through a minerals policy framework that conforms to the rule of law and principles of legality; and by administrative action which is lawful, reasonable, and procedurally fair and consistent in all respects with provisions of the country’s legislation.”
The Minerals Council said Mantashe had been kept fully apprised of its intentions.
– African News Agency