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NUM considers legal options over minister's decision on Mining Charter

The union says it’s disappointed in Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane’s decision to put the charter on hold, saying he’s buckled under pressure at the expense of the workers.

Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane. Picture: GCIS

JOHANNESBURG – The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) says it’s now considering legal options after Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane’s decision to temporarily halt the implementation of the new Mining Charter.

Last week, it was announced that the charter wouldn’t be implemented until a court rules on its legal application after the Chamber of Mines applied for an urgent interdict to overturn the new charter.

The case will be heard in September.

The union says it’s disappointed in Zwane’s decision to put the charter on hold, saying he’s buckled under pressure at the expense of the workers.

The NUM’s Libhuwani Mammburu said: “We expected no less from the Chamber of Mines, whom we feel that their actions have attacked every essence of transformation in the mining industry.”

Meanwhile, the Chamber of Mines said it still plans to press ahead with its legal action to stop the new Mining Charter from being implemented.

Under the terms of the agreements, Mineral Resources Ministry Mosebenzi Zwane will not implement the charter at the moment and both sides have agreed to postpone the Chamber’s application until September.

The Chamber of Mines said this is a satisfactory outcome for the industry and that they now know this charter won’t be implemented for the immediate future.

The Chamber’s CEO Roger Baxter said their primary aim is to stop the charter from ever being brought into effect.

“It destroys investments, it destroys confidence in the sector. So we’re not arguing with the fact that over time we need to continually improve our transformation performance, the reality is that this particular charter is damaging to investments.

“It takes a lot of revenue stream away from the sector.”

Baxter said they support ongoing transformation in the industry but that this charter would severely hurt the industry.

The Chamber of Mines said they have also agreed that if Zwane breaks the terms of this agreement, the Chamber can go to court within 48 hours.

The Chamber said this is a satisfactory arrangement for the industry and that their primary objective is still to make sure that the charter does not come into effect.

It’s criticised the charter, saying they were not consulted and that it will severely damage the industry.

The Chamber said it wants to help transform the industry but that this new charter would inflict vast and systemic damage on the mining industry investors and the country itself.

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)

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