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Mining activists bids to join legal action against Minister Zwane

The Centre for Applied Legal Studies is representing mining community networks which say while they support transformation in the industry, they were not consulted about the new charter.

Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane. Picture: GCIS

JOHANNESBURG - The Centre for Applied Legal Studies has made an application to intervene in the case brought by the Chamber of Mines against the Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane concerning the Mining Charter.

The centre is representing mining community networks which say while they support transformation in the industry, they were not consulted about the new charter.

The mining networks, which represent the communities where mines operate, say often when decisions are made in the industry, the various stakeholders are involved, excluding the community that lives in those areas.

It says that the Mining Charter is essential in addressing the historical legacy issues and promoting transformation in the sector.

The networks, including several community based groups, say the most recent charter features some reformative amendments while the Chamber of Mines has expressed concern over the figures when it comes to transformation, claiming that the charter in its current form will devastate the sector.

The mining networks, however, say that the charter, like previous versions, were developed without engaging with the affected communities. They say mining affected communities continue to bear burdens of the industry from loss of farm land to environmental harm and illnesses caused by pollution.

The Centre for Applied Legal Studies will act on behalf of the 150 activists and community based organisations where the matter will be heard in the Pretoria High Court on 13 and 14 December.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)