South Africa keeps 30pc black ownership target in mining charter

FILE PHOTO: A mine shaft is seen at the Tumela Mine , an Anglo American open pit mine in Thabazimbi, South Africa, June 9,2016. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko/File Photo
South Africa Resources Minister Gwede Mantashe

South Africa’s new mining charter will require holders of mining rights to raise the level of black ownership to at least 30 percent from 26 percent within five years, Resources Minister Gwede Mantashe said on Thursday.

The charter is part of an affirmative action drive that aims to reverse decades of black people’s exclusion from the mainstream economy under apartheid.

Agreeing a new version of the charter is crucial to securing further investment in the mining industry in the world’s top platinum producer and bolstering President Cyril Ramaphosa’s pledge to revitalise the economy.

The third version of the charter, which sets out required levels on black ownership and other targets for mining companies, has been delayed for years amid wrangling with the industry in decline.

Mantashe, speaking to journalists, said least 20 percent of the 30 percent stake of black ownership would be in the hands of businesspeople with the other 10 percent being granted free to communities and qualifying employees.

The 30 percent target was widely expected as it had been in drafts of the third charter but investors and the industry were waiting for the final breakdown.