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CALS welcomes release of Mining Charter

- Lee-Anne Bruce

New Mining Charter incorporates transformative changes from CALS reports

The Centre for Applied Legal Studies (CALS) welcomes the release of the Reviewed Broad Based Black-Economic Empowerment Charter for the South African Mining and Minerals Industry (Mining Charter). The latest draft of the Charter was released on Thursday 15 June 2017 by the Department of Mineral Resources.

CALS is encouraged by the transformative amendments made to the Charter. We are particularly pleased to see several of the recommendations from our Social and Labour Plan Reports (see more here) reflected in the new Charter. These include:

  1. Social and labour plans must now be made public automatically;
  2. Social and labour plans must be published in English and other languages of affected communities;
  3. Mining companies operating in the same area are encouraged to collaborate for greater impact;
  4. Social and labour plans must be aligned to the municipalities’ development plans to ensure integrated development;
  5. The contributions of mines to development must be proportional to the size of the investment;
  6. There must be alignment of the social and labour plan system with the Mining Charter;
  7. Mine workers and communities must have decent living conditions; and
  8. There must be funding set aside for local economic development.

“This is a huge step for everyone working to transform the mining sector in South Africa,” says Louis Snyman, attorney in the Environmental Justice Programme at CALS. “This is an encouraging sign and we hope that community members stand to benefit from these amendments. Going forward, compliance monitoring and enforcement must be the highest priority.”

We do also note with concern a few elements of the Charter, including the lack of consultation in its development with affected community members; the lack of detail on the Mining Transformation and Development Agency, and its removal of the direct obligation to contribute a minimum of 1% of annual turnover to local economic development. Additionally, while we applaud the progress made with regards to access to information, we hope this extends to annual compliance reports as well.

For inquiries, please contact:

  • Louis Snyman
  • Attorney: Environmental Justice
  • Centre for Applied Legal Studies
  • 011 717 8629
  • 083 355 6482