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Solidarity says Mining Charter negotiations a boon for mining sector

[LISTEN] Solidarity is willing to revise its wage demands from Eskom

Solidarity General Secretary, Gideon du Plessis, says the ongoing Mining Charter negotiations are an indication of progress in the sector.

The Minister of Mineral Resources, Gwede Mantashe, held a platinum industry conference in Johannesburg on Tuesday, 10 April 2018 where he discussed the Charter with various stakeholders.

He said that the Charter would be finalised and gazetted in May 2018. Mantashe also said that the finalisation of the Charter would bring much needed investment in the sector and boost investor confidence.

The Minister also said the Department of Mineral Resources (DMR) would not appeal a Chamber of Mines application that would determine whether or not mining companies would be compelled to add on to their 26% black ownership levels as was regulated by the first two charters.

Even though mining charter negotiators are bound by confidentiality at this stage, du Plessis said in a statement on 10 April 2018 that the new proposals are a step in the right direction.

“Although the controversial version of Charter 3, drafted under former Minister Mosebenzi Zwane, serves as the basis for negotiations, the next version should be radically different from the Zwane version. The Zwane version contains unimplementable and unrealistic clauses, and is fraught with flaws and contradictions which can now be, 24 months later, be rectified,” he said.

Du Plessis expressed concern, however, over the mineral resources department’s capacity to monitor and evaluate the implementation of the Charter.

“In addition to the dubious appointments made by Zwane within the department and at statutory institutions affiliated with the department, there is also a lack of additional senior level expertise. While other state departments have a large number of superfluous staff members, Minister Mantashe will have to address his department’s capacity challenges,” he added.

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