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MINING

“We need to see mining as a sunrise industry,” was how President Cyril Ramaphosa prefaced his plans for the mining sector during the State of the Nation Address.

“With the revival in commodity prices, we are determined to work with mining companies, unions and communities to grow the sector, attract new investment, create jobs and set to the industry on a new path of transformation and sustainability.”

1. He vowed to intensify engagement with all stakeholders on the highly-controversial Mining Charter.

2. He also committed to finalise the processing of the MPRDA Amendment Bill, through both Houses of Parliament during the first quarter of 2018, to bring regulatory certainty and security of tenure.

3. Ramaphosa called for stakeholder engagement on ways to reduce mine accidents and fatalities.

UPDATES:

May 23, 2018: ‘Gupta clause’ to be cut out of Mining Charter, Gwede Mantashe says ✅

A clause that includes naturalised citizens in the group of people who should benefit from attempts to more evenly redistribute the country’s mineral wealth will be cut from the Mining Charter.

Mineral Resources Minister Gwede Mantashe is in talks with companies, unions and mining communities on an update to the Mining Carter after a version published last year by his predecessor prompted legal challenges from the industry. Among the criticisms of the 2017 charter was its recognition of black and other historically disadvantaged people who had taken citizenship after being in the country for long enough.

Opposition parties suggested that the clause was included to benefit the Gupta family, who are friends with former President Jacob Zuma. The family, which has been accused of using its ties to influence government decisions for their benefit, moved to South Africa in the 1990s and some may have become citizens.

March 20, 2018: Mining Charter to be gazetted before end of June 

Mineral Resources Minister Gwede Mantashe tells the media he wants the new Mining Charter completed and gazetted before the end of June this year, and wants the promulgation of the amendments to the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act expedited.

March 17-18, 2018: Mining Minister Gwede Mantashe meets with industry leaders 

Reports from the talks between new Mineral Resources Minister Gwede Mantashe say that he is intent on retaining the outline of the controversial Mining Charter championed by his predecessor.

It is reported that Mantashe wants to retain the basic elements of the charter, which in the past has been rejected unequivocally by the mining industry for its onerous transformation requirements.

Ramaphosa said that the new mining charter would benefit the industry as a whole.

“The mining charter is being addressed as we speak. The agreement reached should be to the benefit of the industry as a whole and all its stakeholders,” he told Parliament.

February 18, 2018: Negotiations on Mining Charter resume 

The day before it was supposed to start, an application by the Chamber of Mines for a judicial review and setting aside of the reviewed Mining Charter has been postponed. The postponement came after both the mining advocacy body and the Presidency put out statements saying that negotiations on the Mining Charter would again commence.