Susan Shabangu,
Mines minister
 
Johannesburg, South Africa — MININGREVIEW.COM — 04 November 2009 – The South African government has completed the review of its Mining Charter, and will now engage in further discussions with the country’s mining industry before coming up with a final document.

“We have completed the review of the mining charter,” said Mines Minister Susan Shabangu. “We will be forwarding our observations as a department to the Chamber of Mines, and we believe that the Chamber and the industry will have an important role to play in the final conclusion of the charter,” Shabangu added.

She went on to say that South Africa’s mining industry had missed targets established in 2004 legislation aimed at helping the industry make amends for apartheid which disenfranchised black people. “Most of the companies have not met the targets which should have been met by April,” she added in a speech here.  “The industry has not lived up to the spirit and intent of the charter,” she said.

“The mining industry is committed to transformation,” said Sipho Nkosi “’ president of the Chamber of Mines and chief executive officer of Exxaro Resources Ltd., said in a speech at the same event. Chamber members include local units of BHP Billiton Ltd., Xstrata Plc, as well as Anglo American Plc and Rio Tinto Ltd.

Upon taking charge of the department of mining, Shabangu said her first task would be to oversee the first major review of the Mining Charter “’ a five-year-old agreement meant to bring more black ownership in mining, reversing decades of exclusion under white apartheid rule.

The review has attempted to establish whether the Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) drive in South Africa was succeeding, or if it needed improvement. It was also tasked with finding out how mining companies have fared in terms of their social responsibilities to communities.