This clarification from the Chamber comes in the wake of a Cabinet statement on Wednesday which suggested that the court case brought by the Chamber of Mines is seeking to have the Mining Charter to be declared unconstitutional and void.
“We believe the Cabinet spokesman may have confused the Chamber’s case, which seeks clarity on the interpretation of one aspect of the Charter, with a case brought by the law firm Malan Scholes which seeks the remedy as described in the Cabinet statement,” the spokesperson for the Chamber noted.
The Chamber is not seeking such relief and has opposed the joining of the two cases precisely for this reason, it said, adding that while the Malan Scholes application argues that the Mining Charter is unconstitutional and invalid, the Chamber’s application does not make that argument.
Cabinet noted on Wednesday in its statement that the principles of the Mining Charter are aimed at transforming the mining industry to redress historical imbalances engendered by apartheid so that the industry is consistent with the changes in South Africa’s overall transformation of its social, political and economic landscape.
Community upliftment is also a key focus area to ensure that mining development does not exclude relevant communities, it said.
Resolution on the Mining Charter consolidation application between The Chamber of Mines and Malan Scholes is still pending after being heard in the Pretoria High Court by Judge Pierre Rabie.
Rabie has reserved judgment in respect of the consolidation application and a decision on the allocation of costs will be made when the judgment is given.
Mining Charter background
The Chamber of Mines and its members are seeking clarity on the assessment of the ownership element, particularly in respect of the continuous consequences of previous black economic empowerment (BEE) deals.
The intention to jointly pursue this declaratory order was initially announced by the then Minister of Mineral Resources, Ngoako Ramatlhodi, in March 2015.
It subsequently became clear that the legal mechanism available to the parties required a clear applicant and respondent, with an identifiable and clear point of dispute. The Chamber has since continued with the process while keeping the DMR fully apprised of its approach.