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SA mining charter review to be published soon

SA mineral
resources minister
Susan Shabangu
Toronto, Canada — MININGREVIEW.COM — 09 March 2010 – South African mineral resources minister Susan Shabangu has confirmed that her government plans to publish the results of a review of the country’s Mining Charter in the next few weeks, and adds that she is aware that there have been concerns about the review process.

“The details will be released in the following weeks, after which I will immediately embark on an international road-show to place in context the Mining Charter and any changes that may arise,” she said at an event here hosted by the South African High Commission in Canada.

“But may I caution that there is no intention of creating measures which are stringent in a way that will not advance the interests of the South African mining industry,” she added.

Shabangu also confirmed that a mining sector tripartite task team was about to conclude discussions which would culminate in a summit before the end of this month. The team includes representatives from government, business and organised labour, and was created to develop a strategy for growth and transformation in the mining industry.

The minister reaffirmed that South Africa would not adopt a policy of nationalisation of mines. “The mining industry is a vital part of the national economy, and the government wants to support the sector, not destroy it,” Shabangu emphasised.

“We do not have a policy of nationalisation,” she repeated several times during her comments.

The African National Congress Youth League leader Julius Malema has in recent months repeatedly called for the nationalisation of the country’s mines. After initial silence on the matter, both Shabangu and President Jacob Zuma have said in various forums that nationalisation is not government policy.

Shabangu also said that the government’s creation of a State mining company should not be misinterpreted as a move towards nationalisation of the industry.

“What we are doing currently is we are consolidating those State-owned assets in the mining industry, and from there taking a decision on how do we want to move forward,” she explained.