Mining Charter: BEE meant to empower black people, not the Guptas - EFF

Fighters say inclusion of naturalised citizens in the document is pure opportunism (20 June 2017)


Tuesday, June 20, 2017

The EFF notes the review of the broad based black-economic empowerment charter for the South African mining and minerals industry as gazetted by the Minister of Mineral Resources. The EFF perspective on mining and mineral resources as it is embedded in our founding manifesto is that, owing to the character and the history of the South African economy, to transfer the wealth from minority we must nationalise mines. The ownership of mineral wealth should be considered through various means, prime being the expropriation of the current mineral-production processes in South Africa.

The transformation charters adopted by the democratic government dismally failed to empower the majority of the population because they are not binding. We believe that there must be a move towards a legislation of ownership and control through an act of Parliament that is binding and with strict consequences.

 The EFF notes the emphasis on mining companies’ contribution towards mine community development by identifying priority projects as per the approved IDP. The EFF in the past has demanded an explanation on why mining companies failed to comply with social labour plans and called on all mining companies to actively get involved in the development of mining communities, particularly on construction and maintenance of roads, health facilities, schools, technical training colleges, and other public infrastructure. Unlike in the past where the municipal council did not hold mining companies to account on their social labour plans. The EFF, through its councillors, will ensure that identified projects as per the approved IDP are completed.

The EFF also notes the decision to set the minimum spend on total mining goods (70%) and services (80%) procurement spends on South African manufactured goods and services. Again, the EFF had called on the Chamber of Mines to ensure usage of locally produced goods and services for the upstream and downstream mining economic activities with the aim of expanding the economy and creating durable goods.

However, it is concerning that mining companies are allowed to procure services from foreign companies because this remains an opportunity for illicit financial flows through marketing, transport and financial services while these services must be offered by South African companies.

Empowerment legislations were meant to empower black people, and not the Guptas who only arrived in South Africa after colonial and apartheid brutality had ended. We view the inclusion of people who became citizens of the Republic of South Africa by naturalisation just before or in around 1994 who most of them did not suffer the wrath of oppression of colonialism and apartheid as meant to benefit the Guptas.

The inclusion of naturalised citizens who arrived during and at the end of apartheid in the category of redress legislations and charters should be subject to legal and constitutional challenge. It cannot be that those who arrived at the end of apartheid should benefit from legislation that is targeted at the victims of apartheid. 

The inclusion of naturalized citizens is pure Gupta opportunism, who aim to loot the existing mining corporations for the individual benefit. The Guptas will easily loot mining companies because the Minister of Mineral resources, Mosebenzi Zwane, is a private property of the Guptas and their corruption stooge. 

The mining industry cannot continue to exclude black majority and Africans in particular, because the social instability will only lead to further crisis. The extraction of South African mineral resources must benefit communities, eradicate poverty and contribute towards building infrastructure. And it is only through state ownership and control mineral wealth that South Africa can achieve sustainable economic transformation.

For these reasons the EFF calls for Nationalisation of Mines, higher wages for workers and greater empowerment of communities. This is the only way to lead a sustainable transformation of the mining and mineral resources industry; nationalisation.

Statement issued by the Economic Freedom Fighters, 20 June 2017