A key deterrent to investment in South Africa's mining industry will be scrutinised in court this week. Mining companies and the government remain at loggerheads over the issue of 'once empowered, always empowered'.
In a nutshell, the mining industry holds that once a company has met the threshold for black ownership of 26% in previous charters or 30% for new mining right applications, that is set in stone, even if the empowerment holders subsequently sell their stake. The issue is framed in the industry as speaking of "continuing consequences". The industry is also concerned about the difficulty of meeting some of the local procurement targets.
"The application for the judicial review and setting aside of certain clauses of the 2018 Mining Charter, brought by the Minerals Council South Africa in March 2019, is scheduled for hearing from 3 to 6 May 2021," the Minerals Council said in a statement.
"In bringing this application, the mining industry is concerned about some key issues in the charter, including the non-recognition of the continuing consequences of previous transactions in respect of mining right renewals and transfers, the practicality of the Inclusive Procurement provisions relating to local content targets for mining goods and other...