Following the Mining Charter Summit that was held during the past weekend, trade union Solidarity welcomed the position taken by Mineral Resources Minister, Gwede Mantashe, that all employees below senior management level should receive equal benefits from the Charter’s proposed shareholding scheme regardless of race
According to Solidarity General Secretary Gideon du Plessis, the minister’s position promotes non-racialism and is in stark contrast to the policy Sasol is currently set to implement through a shareholding scheme that is based solely on race. Du Plessis also says that prominent players at the mining summit were strongly opposed to Sasol’s scheme, and at the summit Solidarity thus directed a request to the Department of Mineral Resources not to approve the Sasol scheme. This department has to approve all shareholding schemes for the petroleum and minerals sectors.
During the summit Solidarity also called on stakeholders to avoid further legal action and to rather focus on reaching a negotiated settlement as was the case in 2004 and in 2010 when Charter I and Charter II were drafted.
Du Plessis also pointed out that Solidarity welcomed Mantashe’s announcement that interested parties and the public will now be able to comment on the draft charter until the end of August 2018. “Mantashe’s view that ongoing engagement between stakeholders is essential, together with the extension granted for comment will hopefully nip earlier objections about insufficient consultation from mining-affected communities and the Minerals Council in the bud,” Du Plessis said.
“Although some of the weekend’s debates at times got out of hand, getting input on the Charter was still a step in the right direction, particularly from mining-affected communities. Mantashe’s remark madeat the conclusion of the summit, namely that the summit was a triumph for social dialogue, encapsulated the summit’s value well,” Du Plessis concluded.