South African mining firms ‘frozen out’ of Govt. consultation

The South African government is updating the country’s Mining Charter which is currently set to “dilute shareholders, raise costs and impose new levies to fund community development.”

However, despite union and labour leaders having been consulted on the document’s latest draft, the Chamber of Mines industry body claims to have not been given “any insight” into the most up-to-date version of the long-delayed regulations.

The news will raise concerns amongst prospective miners as South Africa seeks to boost its economy after sluggish growth.

Given this, and the fact that the government has not met with any industry representatives since March, the Chamber has threatened to take the government to court over the issue.

“The government and the Chamber of Mines haven’t really sat down on this issue, and much of the public discourse has been posturing by both sides,” said John Meyer, a London-based analyst at SP Angel Corporate Finance.

“We’re not shy if we need to engage government in court processes,” said Roger Baxter, the Chamber’s chief executive officer. “Government has the same route if they want to follow it.”

Relations between the mining industry and the government have been fraught for some time with the two sides clashing over issues like enforced safety stoppages.

“The style of engagement is totally us versus them,” Peter Major, head of mining at Cadiz Corporate Solutions, explained. “When I talk to anyone involved in mining they say it has never been more polarised.”