Why South Africa’s new mining charter is keeping its 30 percent black ownership target

PUBLISHED: Thu, 27 Sep 2018 13:26:24 GMT

PRETORIA (Reuters) – South Africa’s new mining charter will require holders of mining rights to raise the level of black ownership to at least 30 percent from 26 percent within five years, Resources Minister Gwede Mantashe said on Thursday.

The charter is part of an affirmative action drive that aims to reverse decades of black people’s exclusion from the mainstream economy under apartheid.

Agreeing a new version of the charter is crucial to securing further investment in the mining industry in the world’s top platinum producer and bolstering President Cyril Ramaphosa’s pledge to revitalise the economy.

The third version of the charter, which sets out required levels on black ownership and other targets for mining companies, has been delayed for years amid wrangling with the industry in decline.

Mantashe, speaking to journalists, said least 20 percent of the 30 percent stake of black ownership would be in the hands of businesspeople with the other 10 percent being granted free to communities and qualifying employees.

The 30 percent target was widely expected as it had been in drafts of the third charter but investors and the industry were waiting for the final breakdown.

Reporting by Patricia Aruo; Writing by Ed Stoddard; Editing by Tiisetso Motsoeneng, Richard Balmforth

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