PRETORIA– The gazetting of the Mining Charter 2018 is a step towards creating regulatory and policy certainty in South Africa’s mining industry, says Mineral Resources Minister Gwede Mantashe.

The gazetting of the Charter on Thursday brings to culmination a seven-month engagement process with stakeholders in the industry on the matter. The Charter is designed to achieve mutually symbiotic sustainable growth and broad-based and meaningful transformation of the mining and minerals industry.

The Charter is an important contributory element to efforts aimed at stimulating the economy. It aims to create regulatory certainty, sustainable growth and a competitive and transformed mining industry. It is important to South Africa realising her long-term objectives of eliminating poverty, reducing inequality, and creating jobs, said Mantashe.

Earlier this year, President Cyril Ramaphosa asked Mantashe to halt the implementation of the Charter to allow room for further consultations from affected stakeholders, including business and mining communities. The department had initially concluded its public consultations on the draft Charter in May 2018.

Mantashe, who was appointed to the post in February, said the gazetting of the Charter followed engagements with a host of stakeholders including mining companies, investors, mining communities and labour, among others.

Responding to a question at a packed media briefing at the Government Communication and Information System (GCIS) premises here, Mantashe said the Charter will be implemented. I can tell you that we are going to implement this Charter and people will feel that it is being implemented.

The Charter, which had been open for public comment until the end of August, spans seven elements. These are ownership; mine community development; employment equity; procurement; beneficiation; housing and living conditions; and human resource development.

The Charter states that holders of mining rights will be expected to increase their minimum broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (BBBEE) shareholding to 30 per cent within a five year period while companies receiving new mining rights granted after the coming into effect of the Charter must have a minimum of 30 per cent BEE shareholding which will be applicable for the duration of the mining rights.