Mining host communities in court to challenge 2017 Mining Charter

18 February 2018 --- Beginning tomorrow, four mining affected communities represented by Lawyers for Human Rights will be in the Pretoria High Court to challenge the Mining Charter published by Minister of Mineral Resources Mosebenzi Zwane in June of last year. 


The communities of Sefikile, Lesethleng, Babina Phuthi Ba Ga-Makola and Kgatlu, located in the Northwest and Limpopo provinces, each host mining operations on their land, and together comprise thousands of affected individuals.  Mining community federations, namely Mining Affected Communities United in Action, Women Affected by Mining United in Action, and the Mining and Environmental Justice Community Network of South Africa, as well as the Chamber of Mines, have also opposed the Minister in this matter.


The Minerals and Petroleum Resources Development Act 28 of 2002 (“MPRDA”) requires that the Minister develop and publish a Mining Charter to give effect to certain of the Act’s objectives, including expanding opportunities for communities to participate in the mining industry and making certain that mining right holders contribute towards the socio-economic development of the areas in which they operate.  The Mining Charter should thus be a critical tool at the state’s disposal to help ensure that mining affected communities see real benefit from the mining that occurs on and around their land.


The community applicants will argue this week in court that the 2017 Mining Charter” should be set aside on the basis that it is incapable of fulfilling its purpose as required by the MPRDA with respect to mining community upliftment and industry transformation. This is because the Minister’s failed to adequately consult mining affected communities across the country in the drafting of the Charter.


The communities will further ask the court to order the Minister and his department to begin a fresh, properly consultative process to develop and implement a new Mining Charter that reflects the rights and interests of mining affected communities.


“A new Mining Charter is essential, as the current circumstances of mining affected communities reflect that previous versions failed to deliver on the promises of the MPRDA with respect to community upliftment and access to the benefits of mining”, said Michael Clements, head of the Environmental Rights Programme at Lawyers for Human Rights. “The process of drafting a new Mining Charter must reflect the direct interests of mining affected communities in the Charter as a real mechanism for transformation of the industry”.


For more information please contact:

Michael Clements, Enviromental Rights Programme Manager on 011 339 1960


Louise Du Plessis, Land and Housing Programme Manager on 012 320 2943


Carol Mohlala, Media and Communications Manager on 079 238 9826