Empowerment ruling: Giving important direction to Mining Charter negotiations
5 April 2018
Trade union Solidarity today welcomed the Johannesburg High Court’s explanatory ruling on the “once empowered, always empowered” principle in mining.
This comes after the court ruled that it could not be expected of mining companies to maintain a 30% black empowerment rate. Consequently, historical empowerment transactions would still be recognised by the courts, and companies would not lose their empowerment status when black shareholders sell their shares.
Connie Prinsloo, Solidarity’s mining industry’s deputy general secretary, pointed out that a great deal of uncertainty about the interpretation of this principle had prevailed and that it posed an obstacle to effective talks between parties involved. “There can now be much more certainty in negotiations and we are pleased with this certainty the ruling brings,” Prinsloo said.
According to Prinsloo this is, however, not so much a victory for any of the parties involved; rather, it serves as a pointer for the Mining Charter negotiators. “We trust that, given the ruling, further litigation would be prevented and parties will negotiate on a collaborative rather than an antagonistic footing,” Prinsloo added.
Issued by Francois Redelinghuys, Spokesperson, Solidarity, 5 April 2018