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South Africa's mines minister open to talks with companies on new charter

South Africa's mines minister open to talks with companies on new charter”

Zwane said this when he was tabling the R1.779 billion Budget Vote of the Mineral Resources Department in the National Council of Provinces on Wednesday. He said the economy remained lopsided, unequal and non-inclusive because of the legislative framework.

The cost of the bond was pushed higher by last Thursday's release of the Mining Charter, with a number of investors in the USA, where CEO Neal Froneman was on a road show last week to promote the bond issuance, raising concerns about the contents of the charter, which will add costs to operating mines in SA.

The reviewed Mining Charter has caused a lot of uncertainty for stakeholders and the markets by setting new black ownership targets for the industry. "I therefore encourage youngsters to exploit the opportunities presented by this instrument of change".

He also questioned criticism levelled at the decision to increase black ownership of mines from 26% to 30%. "We will meet them", Zwane said in an interview with Reuters when asked if he would negotiate with the chamber. "I can not say the charter will change", he added. There has been a visible change in mining as a key sector of the economy in this country. "Tourism also has 30% and no one said anything". "We will constitute a database of all South Africans and make it available for as long as they're black and South Africans".

"We now know that some highly paid PR specialists contrived a plan to use terms such as "radical economic transformation" and "white monopoly capital" essentially to launch a publicity offensive in defence of their clients".

He emphasised that government couldn't wait for the recession to pass before announcing the Mining Charter.

On Wednesday, global rating agency Moody's warned that the charter is harmful to the South African economy.

Even the ANC expressed concern over the contents of the charter, saying it is concerned about the effect it could have on employment in an already fragile industry which has lost thousands of jobs in the past five years.

The Chamber of Mines has rejected the document, saying it wasn't consulted.

Mining Charter Three's arbitrary increase of empowerment shareholding to 30% violates the property rights of shareholders, and the new charter's requirement to pay 1% of yearly turnover is not expected to survive challenges under the Companies Act and the Constitution.

The new charter dictates mines must be at least 30 percent black-owned.



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