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SA mining charter a ‘living document’ – Zwane

SA must reopen talks on mine rules: ANC Treasurer.

South Africa’s government should reopen negotiations with the mining industry on much-criticized new rules rather than rely on the courts to resolve disputes, said African National Congress Treasurer-General Zweli Mkhize

The mining industry, represented by the Chamber of Mines, and the Department of Mineral Resources are in a standoff over the Mining Charter, which put extra levies on companies and increase black-empowerment requirements that may dilute shareholders. A judicial review, in which Mineral Resources Minister  Mosebenzi Zwane must justify the new measures to a bench of judges, is scheduled for December.

“The whole negotiation has to be reopened,” Mkhize said in a speech in Johannesburg Wednesday. “Working together is better to get a formula for decisions we can live with together, rather than subjecting everything to the courts.”

Living document
In a speech on Tuesday night, Zwane said the government is open to talks and that the charter is a “living document.” However, business must not seek to write legislation, he said.

While the ANC wants to create an environment conducive to growth, the mining industry must do more to transform an economy that’s “too narrow, too concentrated” towards the white minority, said Mkhize, who is seen as a potential  compromise choice to succeed President Jacob Zuma as leader of South Africa’s ruling party. “We must attend to the fact that there’s building frustration from the poor,” he said. “Democracy will be destabilized” if the issue is not addressed.

Chief among the Chamber’s concerns is a rule requiring mines to be 30 percent black-owned in perpetuity. That would lead to shareholder dilution because many companies already sold 26 percent stakes to black investors at preferential rates in the 2000s to comply with previous rules, believing it was a one-time deal, detractors say.

Local procurement
Other concerns include a 1 percent levy on revenue that must be paid to black investors before other shareholder dividends, and increased local procurement targets.

Mmusi Maimane, leader of the opposition Democratic Alliance, said the country should “rip up” the rules and create a low-tax regime that encourages new entrants. The charter helps “one set of elites seeking to replace another and ensuring wealth is concentrating,” he said in a speech in Johannesburg.

“I think we must rip up this new Mining Charter along with the MPRDA and re-write them essentially for a modern investor-friendly mining sector,” he said. “These must be written into legislation that must have a clause that says: ‘Once empowered, always empowered.”’

The Mining Charter won’t be implemented until judgment is handed down in the application to set it aside, the government told the High Court last month.

“We recognize the contribution” that the industry has made to improving the lives of black South Africans after the country ended white-minority rule in 1994, Zwane said yesterday. “Is it enough? I’m sure we’ll agree a lot more needs to be done.”

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Well, you killed the mining sector with your living document. You have got a nice living document with a lot of new socialist ideas, but the sector who must now adhere to these rules have been strangled by them. That is South Africa for you – populist laws, living documents, never-ending legislation, and a dead economy. Now take your living document and give it to the children of the 100 000 mine workers who lost their jobs this year, to eat.

Mr Zwane is quite happy to destroy the ENTIRE mining sector to benefit a few “Blacks” – what warped logic. BEE, the Zwane way, simply equates to the economic destruction of South Africa.

“Legalized” theft. From an organisation that is as morally bankrupt as it is clueless. No wonder foreign investors are leaving in their droves.

Why should the mines or any other company finance social upliftment and other things which is the duty of the government? Zwane said: “mining companies must not seek to do the job of government”, but the mining charter is requiring exactly this. What next, companies will have to provide schooling, health services, security and infrastructure for the communities they are operating in? What will the government do with the money they collect as taxes, transfer it straight to the Guptas?

The day business can sit and negotiate with Zwane is the day business will truly lost its well being. Zwane sold out to the Gupta’s. The dairy farm in the OFS is in shambles. No one is left accountable!!! The poor lost out and the ANC set back and looked on. Now Zweli wants Zwane (corrupt thief) to negotiate with a business!!!!!!!

I sat with a Mining Exploration business today, they have received confirmation of two new investment projects specifically aimed at Mining exploration – the basis for future mine development. Both projects have been put on hold due to the uncertainty surrounding this fiasco, and the investments hang in limbo until our clever government comes up with something more workable.

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