The Black Business Council (BBC) has welcomed the draft reviewed Broad Based Black Economic Empowerment Charter for the South African mining and minerals industry 2016, saying it embodies the objectives of effective and practical radical transformation which is necessary to stimulate the black industrialisation objectives of the National Development Plan.
This follows the publishing of the draft charter for public comments by the Minister of Mineral Resources, Mosebenzi Zwane 10 days ago giving interested and affected parties until 31 May 2016 to submit written inputs and comments.
“The revised charter looks set to advance the beneficiation of SA’s mineral commodities and to promote greater opportunities for black people to enter mining and minerals industry.”
“Reducing inequality, fostering local job creation, local procurement, ensuring that society and the mining industry reflects the racial and gender demographics of South African society is at the heart of the proposed draft amended Mining Charter”, explains Mohale Ralebitso, Black Business Council Chief Executive Officer.
According to Ralebitso the call for wider public participation on the draft document presents an opportunity for the mining industry and society as a whole to look at innovative ways to inclusively grow the mining sector.
“Under the proposed draft, employee and community stakeholders will have interests aligned to ensure transformative and inclusive growth of the mining industry.”
Amongst welcomed developments is the ownership credit in respect of beneficiation which stipulates that should beneficiation for some reason decline then the mining company will lose its credits and will have to comply with the requirements of the draft mining charter.
The challenges faced by superficial compliance with the BEE codes that were further exacerbated by the verification agencies have been addressed with the introduction of the South African Bureau of Standards to serve as a verification body for local content and consumer goods. This further affirms government’s commitment to protect the sustainable participation of black business in this sector.
The draft amended Mining Charter also ends out a clear message to significantly improve the housing and living conditions of employees and contract employees.
Furthermore the mining charter places explicit obligations on mining companies and their suppliers on reducing the amount of emolument attachment orders (so called garnishee orders) of its employees and contract workers that may have been obtained by less than acceptable practices.
Ralebitso says the BBC urges stakeholders to take advantage of the opportunity presented to comment of the draft amended Mining Charter and ensure that the final document remains firm in its articulation of the imperatives for transformation and economic growth.