Victory for mining host communities in 2017 Charter postponement hearing

Mining affected communities acknowledged as key stakeholders


19 February 2018 --- This morning, the Pretoria High Court postponed the judicial review of the Mining Charter published last year by Minister of Mineral Resources Mosebenzi Zwane, in order for the President to initiate a new, inclusive consultation process that will underpin revisions to the Charter.  In the same order, the Court declared that the mining affected communities and networks in the case are interested and relevant stakeholders for purposes of such consultation.


In this matter, Lawyers for Human Rights represented the mine hosting communities of Sefikile, Lesethleng, Babina Phuthi Ba Ga-Makola and Kgatlu, located in the Northwest and Limpopo provinces.  The communities argued that the 2017 Mining Charter should be set aside on the basis that it was incapable of fulfilling its purpose as required by the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act 28 of 2002 with respect to mining community upliftment and industry transformation. This is because the Minister failed to adequately consult mining affected communities across the country in the drafting of the 2017 Charter.


The hearing, set to begin today, was postponed indefinitely after the Presidency intervened in the matter over the weekend in order to facilitate an agreement between one of the applicants, the Chamber of Mines, and the Department of Mineral Resources, to postpone the case. The seven other applicants in the matter, mining affected communities and networks, were not included in these negotiations and were instead notified only after the agreement was reached.


The Court further acknowledged the validity of the community applicants’ grievances about having been side-lined from the process of developing the 2017 Mining Charter.  The order recognises the seven mining community applicants as core stakeholders for the purposes of consultation on the Mining Charter.


“This is an historic victory for mining affected communities, who for the first time have been recognised and must be treated as key stakeholders in future consultations regarding this piece of mining regulation”, said Michael Clements, head of the Environmental Rights Programme at Lawyers for Human Rights. “We will welcome the initiation of those engagements, which have the possibility of making a considerable difference in the lives of the community applicants in this matter”.


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