Communities, unions now have a say in Mining Charter review case

Impala Platinum has sent SMSes to workers, asking some of them to return on Tuesday.
Impala Platinum has sent SMSes to workers, asking some of them to return on Tuesday.

Communities and labour unions have been allowed to be part of a legal bid by the Minerals Council to challenge certain clauses of the third itiration of South Africa's mining charter, which is aimed at transforming the sector.

The organisation, which represents mining companies in the country, had taken the department of mineral resources and energy to court to have the clauses around the transfer of mining rights, black economic empowerment shareholding among other empowerment provisions reviewed.

Under the new regulations new mining right holders are required to have a 30% black ownership, a minimum of 5% non-transferable carried interest rights must go to qualifying employees, while another 5% must go to host communities.

In a statement on Monday, Minerals Council had been of the view that the community groups did not have a legal right to be joined in the matter but later extended an invitation to interested parties as "friends of the court" which they say was not honoured.

On 30 June, the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria ordered that interested stakeholders such as trade unions Solidarity, NUM and AMCU and a host of community organisations be allowed to participate in the hearing.

The court stated that "their exclusion from the litigation not only impoverishes the proceedings but could result in them suffering harm should the orders sought by the applicant be granted".

The Council said the latest ruling meant that the finalisation of the status of the contested elements of the 2018 Mining Charter will be delayed.

 

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