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Zwane’s conduct blemishing country’s brand – judge

Monama criticises mines minister, orders him to explain his actions.

South Africa’s Department of Minerals backed down on plans to freeze the granting and renewing of mining rights and will explore other measures to ensure companies are compliant with new industry rules.

Read: DMR has begun implementation of moratorium, chamber says

The decision, announced late Thursday on the department’s Twitter account, came just before a High Court hearing on Friday in which the main industry lobby group sought a court order blocking Minister Mosebenzi Zwane’s July notice about the planned moratorium.

Friday’s court application has been postponed indefinitely after Zwane agreed not to pursue the moratorium. However, the minister was criticised by Judge Ramarumo Monama for failing to file a responding affidavit and ordered him to explain his actions in the matter.

Zwane’s conduct “is blemishing the brand” of the country at a time when thousands of jobs are being lost in mining, a crucial sector in the economy, he said. The judge also criticised the department’s late-night communication of policy on Twitter, which he likened to postings by US President Donald Trump.

The legal battle began after Zwane in June published a new Mining Charter, which requires more black ownership of assets and imposes a series of extra levies on the industry. Zwane had originally said the proposed license freeze, announced last month, was necessary to ensure that no rights are approved without being subject to the new charter regulations, which he agreed to suspend pending an initial court judgment after the industry moved to challenge them.

The public had until Friday to respond to the moratorium notice. Views submitted to the department about the potential impact of the freeze, particularly from junior miners, suggested that alternative means must be explored to ensure companies are compliant with the industry charter, the department said its Twitter posts Thursday, issued after 9pm local time.

“Based on the reasoned submissions made, the department will not pursue the moratorium,” it said.

An agreement on the moratorium between Zwane and the Chamber of Mines has been made an order of the court, Chamber chief negotiator Elize Strydom said in an interview after Friday’s proceedings. Zwane has yet to file a responding affidavit in the Mining Charter case, which is due to be heard next month, she said.

© 2017 Bloomberg


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Tell this to the 16 000 jobs lost due to his incompetence. Perhaps his performance bonus should be based on job creation rather then job losses. Seems to me ANC politicians are hell bend on creating a 50% unemployment rate……

ANC Politicians are running RSA Inc into the ground as that is all they are capable of doing. Job creation in a Communistic environment is not in their vocabulary. With this chaos they are creating a volatile situation which they hope will cause a State of Emergency – and then you will see wholesale looting right in front of eyes. VIVA ANC misfits.

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