/ 14 February 2018

Solidary joins forces with Chamber of Mines in mining charter court battle

Mines will feel the pain of the indigenisation policy more than any other sector.
Mines will feel the pain of the indigenisation policy more than any other sector.

As the court process between the South African Chamber of Mines and Minister of Mineral Resources Mosebenzi Zwane is set to be heard by Deputy Judge Sulette Potterill next week, trade union Solidarity says it has filed court papers to have the latest mining charter set aside and abolished. 

In a press statement released on Wednesday, Solidarity expressed support for the Chamber of Mines court action to review the 2017 mining charter. 

In November, the High Court ruled that mining-affected communities can join the application brought by the Chamber of Mines in its battle against the negatively received charter.

The Chamber of Mines instituted a court application to have the mining charter reviewed in June last year stating that the charter “in its current form will jeopardise the viability of an industry that is already under significant economic pressure”.

Judge Potterill is set to hand down his decision over the Chamber’s application on February 19, 20 and 21.

“The charter is discriminatory, unlawful and unconstitutional and for those reasons, it needs to be revised and set aside”, said Anton Van der Bijl Head of Solidarity’s Centre for Fair Labour Practices explaining the group’s support for the chamber. 

Van der Bijl also mentioned that sections in the charter such as 1% of turnover to be paid to black economic empowerment shareholders as a special dividend by mining houses was of concern to the union.

“The consequences and impact this charter will have on the South African economy as a whole and the mining industry in particular are counterproductive given the Charter’s declared objectives”, he said.

As a result the charter will see more people lose their jobs, Van der Bijl told the Mail & Guardian.