The Mines Ministry in South Africa has announced that mining companies in the country must now have 30% of their shareholding held by Africans.
South Africa is the continent largest mining hub with nearly ZAR2 trillion in annual revenue for all companies in the sector.
The country’s Mines Minister Mosebenzi Zwane said mining companies have 12 months to meet the new 30 percent target. The Mining Charter was introduced in 2002 to increase black ownership of the mining industry, which accounts for about 7 percent of South Africa’s economic output.
According to Reuters, the Chamber of Mines, an industry body, has taken the government to court over the interpretation of the ownership rules. The government has said companies must keep to black ownership targets even if black shareholders sell their stakes. Uncertainty about the government policy remained, however, as Zwane said “we have not dealt with that” issue.
The Chamber of Mines, which represents companies such as Anglo American and Sibanye Gold, did not take part in the launch because of what it said was a lack of consultation in drawing up the charter.
The latest policy by the South African Ministry of mining is a watershed that will further address grievances that Africans are having the shorter part of the stick in resource allocation.