The Chamber of Mines has been notified that Mineral Resources Minister, Gwede Mantashe, and the department have filed an application to appeal a court judgment earlier this month over a crucial black-ownership principle in the Mining Charter, the Chamber of Mines said on Monday.
The High Court in Pretoria ruled on April 4 that the first two versions of the charter did not require producers to top up black shareholding levels in perpetuity if they previously met the minimum 26% requirement.
“The chamber is currently reviewing the specified grounds of appeal, although the department’s appeal appears to centre on the majority judges’ obiter dictum comments about the legality of the 2010 charter and the enforceability of the charters,” the lobby group said, according to news agency, Bloomberg.
The appeal is a latest development a longstanding legal battle to clarify the charter rules.
The case was revived last year by the chamber, which sought a declaratory order on the so-called “once empowered, always empowered” principle.
The chamber has argued that companies can reach the black ownership requirements by counting previous sales to black investors, even if those investors later sold their shares to whites or foreigners.
Meanwhile, Malan Scholes, a Johannesburg-based law firm, has made a separate application to declare current and previous charters unconstitutional because they lack definition and are inconsistent.
The chamber opposes the view that the 2004 and 2010 charters are not valid and has agreed to join as a respondent to that application, it said.
Mantashe is holding talks with the industry, unions and mining communities on a new charter. Earlier this month, he said he was confident work on the charter would be concluded in May.