The 2017 Mining Charter has increased the level of black ownership in mining companies from 26% to 30%.
“Holders who have maintained a 30% black shareholding will not be required to restructure their shareholding,” Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane said.
Addressing a media briefing in Pretoria on Thursday, Minister Zwane said the 30% ownership requirement also applies to holders who claim historical Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) transactions.
“A historical BEE transaction is recognised for the reporting period but such holders are required to top up their shareholding to the minimum requirement of black shareholding within 12 months of the charter coming into force.
“With regards to the transfer of rights, a holder who sells their mining assets must give black owned companies preferential option to purchase,” he said.
Minister Zwane said the charter requires the holder of a mining right to pay 1% of its annual turnover to the 30% black persons shareholding prior to and over and above any distributions made by a holder to its shareholders.
“This 1% payment is meant to ensure real economic value in the hands of black persons, but is always subject to the solvency and liquidity test, as provided in the Companies Act,” he said.
The revised charter further requires that a new prospecting right must have a minimum of 50% plus 1 black person shareholding, which must include voting rights.
The Department of Mineral Resources embarked on a process to review and amend the Mining Charter to strengthen and refine its effectiveness in driving economic transformation and competitiveness in the mining sector. That process has now been concluded.
“In order to achieve economic transformation, we need to produce a new era of industrialisation, driven by young economic champions. Procurement can play a profound role in providing genuine economic opportunities, particularly to new entrants and the youth,” Minister Zwane said.
The charter requires 70% procurement of mining goods and 80% procurement of services from BEE entities.