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Mines minister defends new mining charter

Story from: TownPress

CAPE TOWN – South Africa mine’s minister on Sunday defended new regulations seeking to accelerate black ownership in the key industry as a “win-win” situation for all, despite objections from an industry body threatening court action to block the changes.

Minister Mosebenzi Zwane released the government’s revised Mining Charter on Thursday, raising the minimum threshold for black ownership of mining companies to 30 percent from 26 percent, and giving resource companies 12 months to meet the target among a raft of other regulations that hit mining stocks.

The Chamber of Mines, which represents mining firms, said it would challenge the new rules in court, arguing that there had been insufficient consultation in drawing up the charter – which is designed to widen ownership of Africa’s most industrialised economy.

“We have given due consideration to the submissions made and we will not be held ransom to those views that seek to derail transformation in the minerals sector,” Zwane said an an opinion piece in the Sunday Times newspaper.

Saying that it was impossible to please everybody, Zwane said a court review by aggrieved parties was expected.

“Should this happen, we are hopeful that the judiciary, recognising the separation of powers doctrine, does not usurp the role of the executive in exercising its power,” he said.

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