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Mantashe withdraws SCA appeal over black ownership in mining companies

The Department of Mineral Resources and Energy had appealed an April 2018 High Court ruling that favoured the Minerals Council South Africa’s challenge to a regulation specifying that a black ownership target of 26% should be maintained at all mines.

FILE: Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Gwede Mantashe. Picture: Kayleen Morgan/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe has withdrawn an appeal at the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) on the threshold of black ownership in mining companies.

The Department of Mineral Resources and Energy had appealed an April 2018 High Court ruling that favoured the Minerals Council South Africa’s challenge to a regulation specifying that a black ownership target of 26% should be maintained at all mines.

Mantashe appealed the ruling, arguing that the High Court judgment would hurt economic transformation, which was aimed at changing the ownership structure of the economy.

The Minerals Council on Wednesday said that it was pleased by Mantashe’s decision to drop the appeal, which meant the order would be undisputed.

“The standing decision of the court does not have an impact on the application for a review of the provision of the 2018 Mining Charter’s provision that recognition of continuing consequences would not apply in the cases of transfer or renewal of mining rights. That matter is still in progress in the High Court,” council said in a statement.

“Both the Minerals Council and the Minister have long expressed the hope that this entire matter can be resolved through engagement rather than through the courts.”

The court ruling meant that mining companies needed to make the 26% threshold once and did not need to top up again if black shareholders decide to sell their stake.

The Department of Mineral Resources and Energy had raised the minimum threshold for black ownership of mining companies to 30% from 26%.

But over the years, mining firms had complained about a lack of consultation over revisions to an industry charter that sets targets for black ownership and participation in the country’s powerful mining sector.

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