South Africa’s cabinet approved a long-delayed Mining Charter that spells out requirements for black ownership levels and backed the withdrawal of a mining bill after industry opposition, a minister said last week. The Mining Charter - which was introduced to redress the exclusion of black people in the mining sector under apartheid - could, however, still be the subject of legal challenges if mining companies are unhappy with its contents after it is published. South African president Cyril Ramaphosa said the country had “cleared the decks” in terms of policy uncertainty and declared that the redrafted Mining Charter would involve a new economic stimulus package and set the country’s mining sector on a path to growth.
Ramaphosa last week said the redraft of the Mining Charter was needed to, "restore investment in mining and exploration." He said, "While there are still some critical issues that need attention, we are certain that the charter, once finalised, will balance the need for meaningful transformation in the sector with the need to increase investment, employment and sustainability," and indicated the details would be forthcoming this week. Communications Minister Nomvula Mokonyane said the cabinet backed the withdrawal of the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Amendment (MPRDA) bill, which would have given the state a 20 percent minority stake in new gas and oil exploration and production ventures, which the industry had said would discourage investment. Analysts say addressing policy certainty in the mining sector could lead to billions of dollars of new investment.