CAPE TOWN, Sept. 13 (Xinhua) -- The Chamber of Mines on Wedensday withdrew an urgent application to interdict Minister of Mineral Resources Mosebenzi Zwane from implementing the controversial Mining Charter.
This came after the Chamber has reached an agreement with Zwane, in respect of the Chamber's urgent interdict to prevent the implementation of the Mining Charter.
"In terms of the agreement, Zwane has given a written undertaking that the Reviewed Mining Charter will not be implemented until judgment has been handed down in respect of the Chamber's review application, which has rendered the granting of an interdict by the court not necessary at this stage," the Chamber said in a statement.
The minister has also undertaken that if he makes any reference in public to the Reviewed Mining Charter, he will simultaneously make reference to his written undertaking and that the Chamber has brought review proceedings to set aside the Charter, the Chamber said.
In the interests of expediting the review process, which is the industry's primary focus, the Chamber has agreed that the matter be heard on December 13-14 this year by a full bench of judges, said the Chamber.
The minister's written undertaking will be presented to the High Court of Gauteng in Pretoria on September 14 for noting, according to the Chamber.
Under the Mining Charter announced by Zwane on June 15, a new prospecting right must have a minimum of 50 percent plus one black person shareholding, including voting rights.
The Charter requires that a new mining right must have 30-percent black persons' shareholding from the previous 26 percent, with the 30 percent shareholding to be apportioned between employees, communities and entrepreneurs in a specific manner.
The charter wants 70 percent procurement of mining goods and 80 percent procurement of services from BEE (black economic empowerment) entities. It also requires that analysis of 100 percent of mineral samples be done by South African based companies.
However, the mining sector expressed unhappiness for not being consulted properly before the charter was released.
The Chamber of Mines, which represents 90 percent of South Africa's mines, claims that the charter is illegal and could destroy South Africa's mining industry while undermining transformation attempts.
The Chamber took Zwane to court in July to stop the implementation of the Charter.