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Chamber of Mines agrees to postpone mining charter court bid

Chamber of Mines agrees to postpone mining charter court bid”

The two parties had been in talks to "to resolve the impasse over the mining charter and to facilitate a process of developing a New Mining Charter that all stakeholders can support and defend", which resulted in the Chamber agreeing to postpone its court application.

The members of more than 150-based community organisations were eagerly anticipating Monday, February 19 - the day they expected to finally have their say in court about the much-debated Mining Charter, a document which they maintain has failed in each of its three iterations to reflect the views of people who live around South African mines.

The Presidency, in a statement said the postponement was to allow the parties the space to engage and find an amicable solution.

It is regrettable that there was insufficient consultation on the issue of the postponement, said the Presidency, adding that the government would ensure this matter was corrected in future engagement on the Mining Charter.

While Zwane has said he is open to talks, he has also defended the charter.

"Ramaphosa dedicated part of SONA to the Mining Charter in which he pledged to "... intensify engagement on South Africa's Mining Charter ... to ensure that it is truly and effectively an instrument to sustainably transform the face of mining in South Africa".

"For the Chamber of Mines, and the industry, legal recourse was always a last resort, meant to get the parties to the table, and the sooner we do that the better for the industry and our country", he said.

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The court case was due to begin on Monday.

But Lawyers for Human Rights (LHR) - which represent four mining communities in the legal challenge, said they have entered into no agreement to postpone the matter.

The legal representatives for mining affected community networks said they were only notified of the agreement to postpone the court hearing late on Sunday afternoon, and felt they had been excluded from the consultation process yet again.

"We have not been afforded the same opportunity as the Chamber of Mines to discuss a postponement, have not received formal reasons for why the postponement is sought, and note that the statement has come through the presidency, which is not a party to the proceedings".

"In line with the spirit and the tone of the message as stated by the president during SONA on 16 February, the Chamber of Mines is agreeable to the request by the Presidency to give negotiations a chance".

The Committee also visited the National Core Library of the Council for Geoscience, outside Pretoria, whereby the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Mosa Mabuza, made a point which was emphasised by President Ramaphosa, that mining is another area that has massive unrealised potential for growth and job creation.

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