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The Minerals Council plays a critical role in engaging with government, communities and other stakeholders, and in lobbying government on behalf of its members on all matters relating to transformation. The Minerals Council is committed to supporting the aims of the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act (MPRDA) and its associated Mining Charter.

Critical team members

  • Tebello Chabana, Senior Executive: Public Affairs and Transformation
  • Fundiswa Ndaba, Senior Policy Analyst: Public Affairs and Transformation
  • Alex Khumalo, Head: Social Performance
  • Allan Seccombe, Head: Communications

Key activities

Most of the negotiations and discussions about transformation in general, and the Mining Charter in particular, are held under the auspices of the tripartite Mining Industry Growth Development and Employment Task Team (MIGDETT) in which the Minerals Council represents the mandated positions of its members. The Minerals Council also leads the delegation of members when the industry is required to present to Parliament on the progress made by the mining industry in respect of the Mining Charter.

An important function of the Minerals Council is to ensure that the “rules of the game” are maintained. So, when the DMRE undertakes a review of progress in the achievement of Mining Charter targets, for example, the Minerals Council plays a key role in ensuring that the instrument being used in conducting the assessment does not deviate from what was agreed initially, and the assessors do not introduce new criteria not agreed upon.

The year 2018 saw a number of developments on key legislative and regulatory matters affecting the mining industry, with the Mining Charter at the forefront of this. On his appointment in February 2018, Mineral Resources Minister Gwede Mantashe set about implementing key changes designed to crack down on corruption. He also resolved to make inroads on the issue of other regulatory concerns, including progress on the finalisation of a new Mining Charter.

The Minerals Council was actively involved in consultations which involved the tabling of a draft new charter in June 2018, and the gazetting of a new charter in September 2018. The Minerals Council has taken the view that the new charter is an advance on previous drafts.

However, one serious concern remains – the failure of the new charter to fully recognise the continuing consequences of previous transactions. The charter stipulates that there is no such recognition in respect of the renewal or transfer of mining rights. The Minerals Council has been in dialogue with the Minister on this matter but given that the issues were not timeously resolved within the 180-timeline constraint for instituting a judicial review application, the Minerals Council had no other option but to pursue the legal route to reserve its rights. The judicial review application was accordingly issued in March 2019 and we are now awaiting the response from the Minister and the DMRE. Notwithstanding the legal action, it is hoped that the issues can still be resolved through engagement with the Minister.

The Minerals Council’s members are listed entities and their boards have fiduciary responsibilities to seek and secure regulatory certainty in respect of continuing consequences on which basis mineral rights have been granted. The companies have made disclosures to their shareholders for years on these matters, which have now been called into question. Rather than wait for a potentially adversarial legal process in which each company applies to confirm its status, the Minerals Council is seeking to do this pre-emptively. That said, the DMRE has been kept fully apprised of the Minerals Council’s approach and has indicated, as has the Minerals Council, that a negotiated resolution to the impasse would be preferable.

External processes/bodies

The Minerals Council is a key member of Business Unity South Africa (BUSA), and participates in the BUSA committees that deal with the BEE Act.