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updated 6:54 AM SAST, Mar 14, 2031
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Chamber wins round one in battle against mining charter

In a clear first-round victory for the Chamber of Mines of South Africa against the Department of Mineral Resources(DMR), Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane has agreed to suspend the implementation of the controversial MiningCharter Three until after the High Court has pronounced judgement on what the legal fraternity has roundly condemned as unconstitutional, contrary to the Companies Act and a taunting of the World Trade Organisation.

The chamber on Friday extracted a written undertaking from the Minister that neither he nor DMR will apply the provisions of Mining Charter Three “in any way”, pending judgement in the chamber’s urgent interdict application.

In the event of any breach of the Ministerial undertaking, the chamber can set the urgent interdict application down for hearing on 48 hours’ notice.

Based on the written undertaking, the chamber has in turn acceded to the DMR’s request for extra time to prepare its answering affidavit to the interdict application and for the hearing to take place on a date later than the scheduled July 18.

The parties have asked the Deputy Judge President of the High Court to allocate a hearing date in September 2017.

Baxter reiterated the commitment of the chamber and the mining industry to transformation, and stressed that it was imperative that meaningful and lasting transformation be undertaken in a way that ensures the sustainability and growth of the industry.

The chamber earlier warned that strangulation of the miningsector risks the stifling of the entire South African economy.

In its current poor state, mining and the many companies that depend on it are already in such dire straits that they are poised to disappoint the Treasury when it comes to tax payments.

Commentators have been unanimous in their condemnation.

Over 70 000 jobs have already been lost over the past five years and net and gross investment over the past two years has been negligible.

Investors view Mining Charter Three as a measure that will devastate the industry. Drafters of this document showed disdain for the Constitution, the Companies Act and the World Trade Organisation's General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade.

Taking 1% of revenue from mining companies even if they are making losses is indicative of the draconian approach of MiningCharter Three, which will destroy the South African mining industry if implemented.. 

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