Zwane agrees to withhold Charter as Chamber drops interdict

SA mines minister, Mosebenzi Zwane Pic: Martin Rhodes

SOUTH Africa’s Chamber of Mines will not proceed with an interdict of the redrafted Mining Charter after the mines minister, Mosebenzi Zwane, agreed in writing that the document would not be implemented until its review was heard – an event scheduled for December 13 and 14 before a full panel of judges.

In a statement today, the Chamber said the agreement had been struck after it had been approached by legal counsel representing Zwane. The Chamber brought an urgent interdict against the Charter in which it argued the redraft brought provisions that had never been discussed with the mining industry. The application for the interdict was to be heard in the High Court on September 14 and 15.

“In terms of the agreement, the Minister of Mineral Resources 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.

“This was not a cosy deal,” said Charmane Russell, spokeswoman for the Chamber. “The Chamber’s objective in bringing the urgent interdict was to suspend the implementation of the DMR’s reviewed charter. In effect, the DMR’s approach to the Chamber has done exactly that,” she said.

“Importantly, we now have a very clear and agreed schedule going forward, which will see this case being heard before the end of the year. This again, is a significant ‘win’ for the industry,” said Russell.

Interestingly, the Chamber also clipped the wings of Zwane’s public relations campaign most recently demonstrated at the Africa Down Under conference in Perth, Australia, in which he said the Department of Mineral Resources’ (DMR’s) redraft of the Charter had been accepted by every investor he had consulted.

Zwane also said at the conference that “… the 2017 Mining Charter is law, and all right-holders in South Africa are expected to implement it” even though he had earlier given verbal agreement not to implement the provisions of the Charter whilst the application for the urgent interdict was in motion. This has heaped further confusion as to the status of mining regulations in South Africa.

As a result, the Minister has agreed to make reference to this written undertaking to the Chamber when referring in public to the ‘Reviewed Mining Charter’. He must also note that the Chamber has brought review proceedings to set aside the Charter.

“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 13 and 14 December 2017 by a full bench of judges,” said the Chamber. “The Minister’s written undertaking will be presented to the High Court of Gauteng (Pretoria) on 14 September 2017 for noting,” it added.


  1. The menace of a court hearing sometimes suffices to stop people from doing illegal things… unfortunately though it´s until december now…. let´s hope, that the SA judicial system continues to be one of the rocks in the surf against a development to become a second Venezuela … IF judges stop the planned land and mining-expropriations, there´s even hope for a better SA credit rating … if not … so let´s hope and pray for the judges – as a last resort for those willing to work, not to steal

    • The continued dispossession of the majority of this country? The chamber thinks and the author thinks that they can hide behind legalistic instruments to continue to maintain their privileged positions. This issue is not about the law. It requires a political resolution as soon as possible to avoid lawlessness. Being right in law does not stop the social imperatives to address inequalities and it is not to be at the dictation of the dispossessor. Wake up and stop another Zimbabwe by being proactive.