Court ruling on Mining Charter welcomed

The review hearing of the Mining Charter which was scheduled to begin on Monday has now been postponed with the High Court saying negotiations between the Presidency.

Picture: Supplied.

JOHANNESBURG - The Mining Affected Communities organisation has welcomed the High Court’s ruling that it be included in negotiations on the controversial mining charter.

It approached the court just a day after President Cyril Ramaphosa announced an agreement with the Chamber of Mines, the National Union of Mineworkers and Solidarity to suspend the court application to review the charter.

The review hearing of the Mining Charter which was scheduled to begin on Monday has now been postponed with the High Court saying negotiations between the Presidency and interested parties must be given enough time.

Advocate Wandiswa Phama says the Mining Affected Communities welcome this ruling.

“And today the court recognises that those fears are indeed well placed if over the weekend there were negotiations between just the government and just one party, to the exclusion of the rest. So this is a victory for that.”

The communities had wanted to ask the court to set aside the controversial charter over the lack of engagement with them. But Monday’s ruling reaffirms the group’s right to participate in talks.

In his ruling, Judge President Dunstan Mlambo said President Ramaphosa’s intervention is understandable.

“We understand, however, the stance by the applicants. We think it’s prudent that they’re concerned regarding their exclusion, and that it be properly recognised and addressed.”

Mlambo says the Mining Affected Communities should now be recognised as interested parties in negotiations around the charter and its ultimate formulation.

Phama says the judgment is a win for them.

“It’s a victory, binding the president and the minister of mineral resources to be inclusionary to Mining Affected Communities.”

If the communities are not involved in further talks, they may seek recourse through an interdict.