NUM vows to fight govt's BEE court bid

The union has opposed a bid to ask a court how BEE in the mining sector should be interpreted.

FILE. The NUM is opposing a bid by the Department of Mineral Resources to ask a court to rule on how to interpret Black Economic Empowerment  legislation in the sector. Picture: AFP.

JOHANNESBURG - The Mineral Resources Department says it's regrettable the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) is now opposing its bid to ask a court to rule on how to interpret Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) legislation in the sector.

Last week the department and the Chamber of Mines announced they were going to ask a judge to rule on what happens when BEE shares in a mining firm are sold.

The Chamber says once a company is BEE compliant it should remain compliant, even if black shareholders sell their shares to white people.

However, the union says this is a step back and a provocation to its members.

The department's Mahlodi Muofhe says: "All the stakeholders, including the NUM, attended our meeting and the minister clearly said this is what we're going to do.

"This is the quickest way. It is a bit costly but it's something we're sure we can live with once there's a decision to that one."

The NUM has suggested it could consider embarking on mass action to fight the court bid.

It says it finds the actions of government and the Chamber of Mines to be "unacceptable" and views it as a "travesty of justice".