JOHANNESBURG – Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) leader Joseph Mathunjwa says the union does not support the mining charter as the department implementing the charter is dysfunctional and the minister knows nothing about mining.
Last week, Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane released the mining charter which increased the black ownership target to 30%.
However, the charter has not been accepted by the Chamber of Mines which says the implementation is not practical.
The chamber of mines will now be taking the minister to court on the matter.
Mathunjwa says while he agrees with elements of the charter, the minister does not know what he is doing.
“And currently with his changes of this Mining Charter, I have seen somewhere where he was naturalising the citizenship, for what good reason because the MPRDA is clear on who are historically disadvantaged and that’s a concern, he has limited the powers of the board.”
Last week, Zwane said he’s open to talks with companies over the new Mining Charter.
However, he's also rebuked the mining firms for planning to take the new rules to court, saying they're “negotiating in bad faith”.
The Chamber of Mines claims it was not properly consulted and says it'll challenge the charter in court.
Earlier this month, the Democratic Alliance said the release of the Mining Charter is proof that the African National Congress (ANC) government doesn’t care about long-term and sustainable transformation in the mining sector.
The party said Zwane opened the doors to more ANC crony enrichment and that the charter will be a disaster for the mining industry.
Zwane said the charter is an instrument for radical economic change in the mining sector and will increase black participation.
The opposition party said one way of diversifying the mining sector would be to bring mine workers into mining schemes.
(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)