Mpumalanga Mining Indaba: Angry Crowd Chases Zwane Away

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Mpumalanga community meeting with Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane turned into chaos as community members chased the minister way, insisting he would not talk to them.

The minister was supposed to meet with the community members at the Sydney Choma Community Hall in Middelburg to discuss the recently unveiled Mining Charter, which raised the percentage of black ownership to 30%.

Read Also: 2017 Mining Indaba: What The Four-Day Event Will Focus On

But the meeting was cut short leading to him being whisked out as the angry crowd drew closer to him shouting and booting closing in on him at a community meeting in Mpumalanga on Friday.

“You cannot come to another man’s yard and do as you please,” shouted one man at Zwane as the meeting degenerated into people shouting and booing at the minister.

Minister Zwane has been highly criticised following the release of the controversial 2017 Mining Charter which according to him was meant to be a catalyst that provides practical expression to the country’s goal of a more inclusive economy.

The minister who is known as President Jacob Zuma’s strong allies and one of the Gupta”lapdogs” said while announcing the mining charter, said while tabling the R1.779 billion Budget Vote of the Mineral Resources Department in the National Council of Provinces that the new charter was to help black representation.

The Chamber of Mines vehemently rejected it, saying that the department was not properly consulted before the introduction of some of the items, and thus it would approach the courts to interdict its implementation.

The targets in the new mining charter include new mining rights, holders having 30 percent black ownership to be shared among employees, communities and black entrepreneurs. Mining rights holders who have complied with the previous target of 26 percent have to “top up” to 30 percent within 12 months.

In the charter also, those applying for prospecting rights would be required to have a “minimum of 50 percent plus one black person shareholding”. These shareholders must have voting rights.

Zwane said the majority of the people of South Africa who make up 90 percent of the population remained excluded from the economy.

Read Also: Mining Charter: South Africa’s Mining Sector Has Lost R50 Billion

He said the economy remained lopsided, unequal and non-inclusive because of the legislative framework. Zwane said this was a huge detriment to South Africa’s socio-economic growth efforts, adding that the need for radical economic transformation.

The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), on the other hand, welcomed the reviewed Mining Charter, saying that it appreciated the increase from the initial 26 percent to the 30 percent minimum BEE shareholding in the industry.

The Mpumalanga Mining Indaba suddenly ended after the crowd chased Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane, refusing to let him speak