21 September 2018, News Wires — South Africa’s cabinet approved a long-delayed mining charter that sets out requirements for black ownership levels and backed the withdrawal of a mining bill after industry opposition, a minister said on Thursday.
The mining charter – which was introduced to redress the exclusion of black people in the mining sector under apartheid – could, however, still be the subject of legal challenges if mining companies are unhappy with its contents after it is published.
Communications Minister Nomvula Mokonyane said more details about the charter would be announced on Friday by President Cyril Ramaphosa when he unveils a new economic stimulus package, to kick-start economic growth.
Policy uncertainty has stifled investment in the mining industry of Africa’s most industrialised economy, which has also faced a wave of job cuts during a downturn in commodity markets, high wage costs and a volatile labour environment.
“The mining charter was deliberated upon and indeed cabinet has approved the mining charter,” Mokonyane told reporters in a briefing on Thursday, following a cabinet meeting on Wednesday.
Mokonyane also said the cabinet backed the withdrawal of the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Amendment (MPRDA) bill, which would have given the state a 20 percent minority stake in new gas and oil exploration and production ventures, which the industry had said would discourage investment.