September 19, 2017

CoM serves replying affidavit in Mining Charter interdict application

Roger Baxter, CEO, Chamber of Mines of South Africa. Photo: Access Africa

The Chamber of Mines (CoM) has submitted a replying affidavit in the High Court, in Pretoria, in response to Mineral ResourcesMinister Mosebenzi Zwane’s August 7 affidavit, in an interdict application against the implementation of the Reviewed Mining Charter.

Zwane in June introduced the Reviewed Mining Charter, which has been strongly criticised by the mining industry.

The CoM said in its affidavit, submitted on Friday, that Zwane’s response did not deal with the shortcomings of the reviewed charter.

It further pointed out that the Minister focused on trying to undermine the credibility of the industry’s transformation journey.

“The chamber reiterates its continued commitment to real transformation‚ implemented with due regard to what is achievable‚ bearing in mind the realities of the situation the industry faces,” the affidavit said.

It added that unilateral development and implementation of the reviewed charter would not serve the interests of South Africa and its people and would only benefit a select few‚ destroy investment and leading to further job losses, causing irreparable damage to the mining industry.

The affidavit highlighted the charter’s effect on the mining industry, together with the absence of guidelines and lack of engagement when compared with the previous charters published in 2004 and 2010.

“The chamber and its members have been denied their right to a fair administrative procedure guaranteed by Section 3 of the Promotion of Administrative Justice Act as read with Section 33 of the Constitution. The chamber is, therefore, seeking that the implementation of the Reviewed MiningCharter be interdicted‚ pending the hearing in due course of the chamber’s judicial review application to be instituted soon thereafter.”

The review application, the CoM said, would seek to have the reviewed charter set aside as invalid and unlawful.

“The fact that the charter is enabled by the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act (MPRDA) does not mean that it is a law on its own. The charter does not operate outside the provisions of the MPRDA as a standalone law of general application‚ which can confer obligations on rights holders and which can supplement or amend the MPRDA and even override other legislation‚” the CoM said.

The interdict application will be heard on September 14 and 15.

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