The industry body representing South African mining companies said on Wednesday that its members “broadly” supported a new regulatory charter for the sector but had concerns about a number of clauses including procurement targets.
South Africa unveiled the new mining charter last week. It was a crucial step to attracting investment in a sector laid low by depressed prices, soaring costs and murky policy.
Local content procurement targets include 70% of goods and 80% of services to come from black-owned companies, a tough goal for mechanised mines that rely heavily on imported capital equipment.
READ: Mines win this round
The Minerals Council South Africa said in a statement that it “remains concerned about some key issues” including the “practicality of the Inclusive Procurement provisions relating to local content targets for mining goods, the targets for services, and the turnover threshold for junior miners.”
But 69% of those who voted in an audience poll at the Joburg Indaba mining event said that they could live with the latest version of the Mining Charter.
Mining Minister Gwede Mantashe, who delivered the keynote speech at the Joburg Indaba, said black South Africans need a “visible interest” in the mining sector.
“The local mining industry needs to coexist with adjacent communities otherwise mines will face protests and burning tyres,” he said.
Mineral Council chief executive Rodger Baxter said there had been a new dawn in mining over last seven months since Mantashe took office.
He referred to Mantashe as “ethical leadership”.
Baxter said the Minerals Council members saw the latest mining charter as an improvement on the June draft.
“The council supports the latest charter but still has ‘specific concerns’,” he said
Baxter added that he had attended a mining conference in Denver in the US. Investors at the event raised concerns about the land expropriation without compensation debate. – Additional reporting by Justin Brown