Miners must maintain 26% BEE level

[miningmx.com] – SOUTH African mines minister, Ngoako Ramatlhodi, confirmed the fears of the country’s mining sector saying the principle of once-empowered, always-empowered did not exist.

Bloomberg News cited Ramatlhodi ahead of his budget speech as saying that mining companies would have to maintain 26% empowerment levels even after fulfilling the requirements of the Mineral & Petroleum Resources Development Act (MPRDA).

The act asks of mining companies to sell 26% of equity or units of production by 2014, a requirement that is currently the subject of an audit launched by Ramatlhodi’s Department of Mineral Resources (DMR).

However, the empowerment target has to be maintained, said Ramatlhodi even if BEE partners dilute or quit entirely their investments.

Said Ramatlhodi: “I don’t subscribe to that [once-empowered, always-empowered] because it defeats the spirit of transformation.

“There are people who are historically excluded and these people happen to be a majority. They should have a say in what happens to their minerals.’

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