Why DA’s Mmusi Maimane would “rip up” the Mining Charter

Mmusi Maimane, federal leader of the Democratic Alliance

MMUSI Maimane, leader of South Africa’s Democratic Alliance (DA), would “… rip up the Mining Charter” in favour of identifying new, 100% black-owned mining companies entering the sector – a move that could be supported by “modern investors”.

A redraft of the Mining Charter has set down a provision for an increase in black economic empowerment targets of 30% from 25% for new mining licence applications, among other demands. The Chamber of Mines is taking the redrafted document on review in the High Court in December. In a separate legal action, the Chamber is seeking a declaratory order from the High Court on whether certain previous transactions can be recognised or if existing licence holders must continue to empower – an outcome that could see some firms potentially having to empower in perpetuity.

Maimane said the approach of increasing empowerment targets was the wrong one. “The problem with setting targets is that you are always – in the interest of popular rhetoric – having to change the goal posts,” he said. “Why can’t we rather frame the question differently and say: ‘Can we not have 100% black owned mining houses that are new entrants into the market?'”.

“That’s a different way to look at it, that’s the conversation we ought to be having,” said Maimane. “In the new entrants’ space, there would be majority black ownership just by virtue of what it is,” he said.

“So when we look at the industry in its totality, we can then build more companies and diversify ownership on the stock exchange rather than taking the narrow view of saying: ‘Let’s take what currently exists and chop it up,'” he said. Maimane was speaking in an interview with media on the sidelines of the Joburg Indaba, a mining conference.

He also said the African National Congress was unable to correct its approach to the mining sector because it was ideologically set against doing so.

“If you look at the recent [ANC] policy conference, you can draw the conclusion that the ANC is simply not going to get a plan for mining – regardless of who leads it – because the ANC’s mantra is that of the replacement of one racial elite for another. So regardless of who leads it, that is always going to be the fundamental [approach],” he said.

Earlier at the conference, Maimane outlined a number of steps the DA would take in respect of the mining sector.

In addition to “ripping up the new mining charter”, he recommended a re-write of the Minerals & Petroleum Resources Development Act (MPRDA,) which is South Africa’s keystone mining legislation. He also recommended acknowledging previous empowerment deals so that the regulatory environment was more sympathetic to “modern investors”.

“We must provide regulatory certainty,” said Maimane. “It must be simpler and clearer. And interpretation [of mining legislation] cannot depend on goodwill of a government official.” Maimane was referring to shaft and mine closures by officials from the Department of Mineral Resources where an injury or fatal accident had occurred.

South Africa’s mining sector has reported heavy losses in mining production owing to mine closures for sometimes minor ‘safety transgressions’. “There can’t be shut downs for 48 hours. It should not depend on the goodwill of that official,” he said.



  1. And, this why you will never become president of that African nation. You support the status quo which is unacceptable to the majority. You should be ashamed of yourself. We see where your loyalty lies.

  2. What a stupid comment you made “Our Wealth” – for your information – minerals in the ground have no value .
    Maybe you are are not one of the privileged guptoid elite and are thus not part of the looting of capital by these trough feeders –

    The halcyon days of mining are over for a very long time – even with DA government getting investors into exploration _ which is the first step in the process for building – with exploration risk , volatile metals prices , PGM being the metal of the past and the lead time to develop news mines …. – NEVER AGAIN WILL SA SEE THE MINING INDUSTRY AS IT WAS PRE 1994. It is doubted whether the COM understands the simple fact we have to get an exploration industry going first before we can talk about new mines,

    Maybe the DA should put out their take on the act and charter – personally The DA understanding of mining is as cretinous at the anc

    OF course Zim has an advantage – disgraceful Mugabe ,, wife of demented Bob and assaulter of pregnant waitresses at upmarket hotels has found the map that white colonists brought to Rhodesia showing where all the mineral wealth lies – the anc must do the same

    • Since you sound like a stupid racist who’s mindset is way outdated. Your comment doesn’t make any sense. Times are changing and people like you are not a part of our future. Your time is up. We don’t care about your illegal industry. You will be replaced very soon. That is the goal.

  3. The DA’s (and especially Mmusi’s) instinct about mining is as daft as the ANC’s. Long term share ownership in SA’s mines has been disastrous for investors. The PGM share index is back to where is was 17 years ago. SA Gold Shares have destroyed value for 20 years. Borrowing money to buy mining shares is a moronic investment, made even more so if an investor is locked in to a BEE deal for 10 years or more, or worse in perpetuity.

    Society benefits from employment, taxes (when mines are making money) and upstream supply industries. No one has benefitted on average (with a random few exceptions) from actually owning mines over the long term. Both the DA and ANC are fixated in ownership – the DA for broad based BEE and employee share ownership and the ANC for the crony elites. Both are wrong.

    The future ownership of mines should be for high risk local and foreign capital providers. SA as a society should make sure it extracts taxes, employment equity, skills training and upstream industry benefits. Ownership is actually a stupid distraction.

  4. The DA should release their policies NOT slogans!

    DA release your Mining Charter so that it can be interrogated.

    DA release your amend to the MPRDA so that we can critic them.

    DA release your BEE codes so that they can be assessed for viability & impact.

    So this rented-black called Mmusi must save the slogans for DA white-caucus and start acting responsibly by releasing the above NOT just criticism of the current legislation. One thing is for sure, there is NO running away from racial Transformation.

  5. Well said Johnson !!

    Maimane and the DA clearly do not understand the mining industry – oxymoron – 100% black owned companies being invested in by “modern investors” who will part with their money without being a shareholder. However I would like to meet this “modern investor” – maybe they are mythical as good business ethics in SA viz KPMG , Mckinsey, SAP

    Maybe the rarified air of CT’s chardonnay belt where the DA is headquartered does not allow cognitive processes to take place. Maybe Maimane should spend some time on a mine and get to grips with the high risk business of exploration. He should speak to geologists who understand the business better than any miner.

    Personally the junior companies never had a chance pre 1994 because of the mineral rights situation ( JCI tying up the eastern Bushveld via the Lebowa Homeland as well as the CoM.

    It would have been very good if Maimaine had elucidated a clear vision for the industry – instead he took the easy way and made some stupid comments that have no substance. If the DA thinks that they are a government in waiting then now is the time to learning the role

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