“It is better that the Mining Charter is corrected by the ANC itself instead of waiting for criticism from everybody else,” he said on Talk Radio 702 this morning.
The clause in question includes naturalised citizens in the group of people who should benefit from attempts to more evenly redistribute the country’s mineral wealth.
In effect, those who only arrived in the country for long enough to become citizens, but are of a racial group that was historically disadvantaged in South Africa, would be entitled to a share in the country’s minerals.
Both business and opposition parties criticised the clause, suggesting it was included to benefit the Gupta family. The family, which has been accused of using its close ties to former president Jacob Zuma to influence government decisions and for attempting to capture the state, moved to South Africa in the 1990s, and some may have become citizens.
According to Mantashe, the new Mining Charter should be published by June. Earlier in the year, at the AGM of the former Chamber of Mines, Mantashe stated the new charter would be more investor-friendly, saying the drive to create black capitalists by driving transformation hard would not come at the expense of the South African mining industry.
On 702 this morning, though, he said that despite the new charter being more investor-friendly, it is intended to help disadvantaged South Africans and that this meaning and intention should not be diluted.