The mining grinches are right: SA needs a new broom for endemic dysfunction – by David McKay ( – June 13, 2019)

SOUTH African mines minister, Gwede Mantashe’s, compromise on energy in which he hopes to align the aspirations of the green lobby with miners, seems a sensible approach. The country doesn’t have a coal mining problem, it has an energy problem so the debate around solving it needs to be appropriately universal in character.

The middle way is not, however, working out quite as well in the mining sector. Without doubt, Mining Charter III is an advance on previous versions, but it falls short in critical areas which have been taken to court by the Minerals Council, as is well documented.

Mantashe has emerged as a bit of a unifying voice in the Ramaphosa Administration. But the investment sector will be less sympathetic. Similarly, the advance Mining Charter III makes in respect of junior mining is tinged with disappointment, as the Minerals Council points out.

Only junior miners with a turnover of R150m or less are exempt from the Mining Charter III provisions on transformation which involve selling equity. This excludes a host of larger, but still junior, companies, the council argues. The ceiling should be R500m in turnover.

Nonetheless, as far as junior miners are concerned, Mining Charter III looks workable. But don’t try to convince Paul Miller, a former resources banker now in private equity.

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