South Africa’s Chamber of Mines has reacted to a government’s decision to publish Thursday data showing that much of the industry has failed to meet empowerment targets outlined in the 2004 Mining Charter, saying the document turns a blind eye to progress made so far.
“All that we are asking for is a fair reflection of the significant progress the industry has made on the transformation front since the Mining Charter was developed,” said Mike Teke, president of the chamber, according to Bloomberg.
The Mining Charter requires all mining companies operating in the country to sell 26% of their assets to black South Africans as a way to narrow economic disparities created by the apartheid system. The deadline to comply was December 2014.
While the Department of Mineral Resources data shows that just over 20% of mining companies had met the black economic empowerment criteria, the chamber chief executive, Roger Baxter, claims the sector has already “met and exceeded” the required target.
Another point of contention is whether a company that has previously sold stakes to black investors, but now stakes are back in white people’s hands meets the black-ownership rules. This issue will be resolved in courts.