Today the Pretoria High Court ruled that mining community networks be granted leave to intervene in the review of the Mining Charter brought by the Chamber of Mines against the Minister of Mineral Resources, Mosebenzi Zwane.
The Court further ordered that the Chamber of Mines must pay legal costs for opposing the community networks’ intervention in the case.
Mining Affected Communities United in Action (MACUA), Women Affected by Mining United in Action (WAMUA), and the Mining and Environmental Justice Network of South Africa (MEJCON-SA), represented by the Centre for Applied Legal Studies, have now been joined to the Mining Charter review.
During today’s hearing, the Minister of Mineral Resources made it clear that community networks were welcome to join the review provided that they were able to keep to the agreed time frames. The Chamber of Mines made it equally clear that they opposed the communities’ intervention.
“We are very pleased with today’s ruling, which promises communities will have a voice in the Mining Charter review,” said Nester Ndebele, National Convenor of MACUA. “This is a step towards recognising that communities are a core stakeholder in mining and must have a say in the laws and policies that affect them.”
The attorney at the Centre for Applied Legal Studies, Wandisa Phama added, “The Court has acknowledged the urgency of this application and accepted that the community networks would not delay the review or prejudice the other parties by intervening.
“It is gratifying that the Court recognised there was no basis for the Chamber of Mines opposing the communities’ intervention by awarding a cost order against them.”