UASA did not attend this morning’s meeting of the Mining Industry Development Growth and Employment Task Team (Midgett) that had been called by Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane.
That fact that the meeting took place only one hour before a media briefing made it highly conspicuous to us. Midgett, the tri-partite stakeholder forum for the industry, has been dormant for 18 months, and yesterday, out of the blue, the Minister called a last-minute meeting followed by a media briefing at a mere 24 hour notice.
In our view, the meeting was clearly an attempt to lure stakeholders into a situation where we would be expected to rubberstamp the new Department of Mineral Resources (DMR) Reviewed Mining Charter.
We suspected from the start that Zwane was going release the new charter at the media briefing, and UASA was not going to partake in that.
UASA is deeply concerned about the flawed content of the new Mining Charter, which appears to be very investor unfriendly. Now is not the time to introduce a Mining Charter that is in our opinion the result of a flawed DMR process and that will frighten off current and future investors in one of the most critical sectors in our economy. The last thing South Africa can afford now is to further alienate investors.
It is our contention that Zwane was opportunistic to lure us and other stakeholders into a Midgett meeting in an attempt to rubberstamp his flawed charter. This captured minister seems to be playing to the whims of his puppet masters and UASA will definitely not fall for his ploys.