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South Africa's Zuma voices support for controversial mining charter

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Staff Writer | June 23, 2017
South African President Jacob Zuma threw his weight behind the controversial Mining Charter, saying it is essential to boost the economy.
Jacob Zuma
Africa   Mining Charter
"We need to do something to change the economy to ensure that we ignite the economy," Zuma said in Parliament during a Q&A session.

Zuma was pressed by opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) leader Mmusi Maimane to say whether he supports the Mining Charter, released last week by Minister of Mineral Resources Mosebenzi Zwane.

The charter increases black persons' shareholding from the previous 26 percent to 30 percent and requires that a new prospecting right must have a minimum of 50 percent plus one black person shareholding, including voting rights, among others.

The charter gives mining companies a year to raise black economic shareholding.

"We could not stay at the same place without being innovative about the economy, particularly mining. I believe this is going to bring about change in mining. So, I believe in what the minister has done," Zuma said.

South Africa needs the charter to address the imbalances of the past, he added.