The Department of Mineral Resources is in the process of consolidating inputs received on the Mining Charter consultation process ahead of submitting it to cabinet for approval.
Director-General, Thabo Mokoena, said this when briefing the portfolio committee on mineral resources in parliament. The briefing comes after the department concluded its public consultations on the draft of the Mining Charter on 31 May 2018.
Earlier this year, President Cyril Ramaphosa asked newly appointed Mineral Resources Minister, Gwede Mantashe, to halt the implementation of the charter to allow room for further consultations from affected stakeholders, including business and mining communities.
“We have just concluded our public engagements on 31 May. So we have started with the process of drafting [the draft Mining Charter] so we would not actually be in a position to deal with the proposals or the elements because it is only now that we have started with the process of drafting.
“After we have done the drafting, we will take the document out for public comments then after that, we will have a summit that the minister has been talking about, so we will be consolidating all the comments that would have been received from the public,” he said.
In a presentation to members of parliament, Mthokozisi Mtshali, the deputy director responsible for mineral policy, said the reviewed Mining Charter 2017 was initially published for implementation in June 2017.
However, it could not be implemented as the Chamber of Mines, which has since changed its name to the Minerals Council of South Africa, obtained a court review application against the implementation of the charter. This led to a joint undertaking by the department and affected stakeholders to engage in meaningful consultations to address issues of concern.
An extensive consultation process on the reviewed Mining Charter was initiated in March 2018 after social partners established two task teams – one focusing on transformation of the mining industry, while the other looked at the competitiveness and growth of the industry.
In April, the department extended public consultation processes to mine communities and labour with the aim of soliciting inputs and comments from affected communities.
The minister, deputy minister and the department’s senior managers held 11 consultations across all nine provinces with mine communities. This saw 2,846 people being consulted, which includes 189 people attending in Witbank in Mpumalanga, 473 in Lephalale in Limpopo, 103 in Burgersfort in Limpopo, 280 in Khathu in Northern Cape and 204 in Newcastle in KwaZulu-Natal, among others.
Mtshali said the majority of communities welcomed the Mining Charter 2017, but raised concerns over several issues, including the Mining Transformation Development Agency, the percentage of shareholding of communities, linking of the integrated development plan (IDP) with social and labour plans (SLP) and ring-fenced procurement opportunities for mine hosting communities, among others.
“Currently, the department is processing inputs received from all community consultations and the two task teams in the review mining charter will consolidate all inputs and ensure that once the process is completed, the department will publish the draft Mining Charter for public comments,” he said.