NUM happy with some policies in new Mining Charter

While NUM says it's happy with the new charter, the Chamber of Mines has announced legal action.

FILE: Miners at work in a shaft. Picture: AFP

JOHANNESBURG - The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) says it was properly consulted over the new Mining Charter, adding that it is happy with some policies.

The NUM’s Luthando Brukwe says they were a part of drafting the new charter.

“I’m going on record to say since the release of the draft charter, the NUM has fully engaged with the Department of Mineral Resources at least six times.”

Mining lawyer Peter Leon says it appears that black people from other countries will be treated under the BEE legislation.

“It seems to imply that anyone who has obtained South African citizenship due to naturalisation should be treated as a black person through the Mining Charter.”

Meanwhile, the Chamber of Mines announced that it will challenge the charter in court, claiming it wasn't consulted and had not seen a draft of the document for over a year.

Chamber of Mines CEO Roger Baxter says that this is not their charter and they cannot subscribe to it.

“We are not going to sign this charter because it is not ours. It’s very difficult to defend something that’s not yours. It’s something that we should have been through a proper process of engagement negotiation to get an outcome that is workable.”

The chamber's president Mxolisi Mgojo says this charter would seriously hurt the industry.

“This is one charter that is going to scare investment and that will be a real consequence, not only to the mining industry but to all other ancillary industries that depend on a thriving mining industry.”

The chamber has also criticised Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane for allegedly not consulting on the new Mining Charter. The minister, however, says he has consulted widely.

Minister Zwane says he called stakeholders to a meeting on Thursday morning purely as a courtesy to provide them with copies of the new charter. The chamber boycotted the meeting.

Zwane insists they’ve done everything expected of them.

“This notion of courts nowadays is becoming a very popular kind of negotiation. We had consulted with more than 60 stakeholders."

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)