AFRICANGLOBE – South Africa’s chamber of mines has asked the courts to resolve a dispute with the government over a Black ownership target of 26 percent for mining companies, the body said on Friday.
The mining sector is at loggerheads with the government over the issue set out in a state charter aimed at redressing the imbalances of white apartheid rule which ended two decades ago.
Mining firms say that once a company is 26 percent Black-owned, it has complied with transformation targets, even if some of the Black shareholders then sell out.
The state says firms must keep the 26 percent ratio as a minimum.
Mines minister Ngoako Ramatlhodi had said in March the two sides would go to court to end the impasse.
“The industry and its stakeholders need regulatory certainty … so as to ensure the sustainability of the industry,” the chamber’s chief executive Roger Baxter said.
He said the chamber filed the court petition by itself because a joint application would suggest a form of agreement between the mining group and the state.
Failure to meet the Black ownership targets can result in mining permits or rights being revoked in a sector already struggling with labour unrest, soaring wage and power costs, dwindling reserves and depressed metal prices.
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