BLACK FIRST LAND FIRST (BLF) SUBMISSIONS TO THE SELECT COMMITTEE ON LAND AND MINERAL RESOURCES ON THE MINERAL AND PETROLEUM RESOURCES DEVELOPMENT AMENDMENT BILL [B15D-2013]
Who are we?
1. Black First Land First (BLF) is a Pan Afrikanist and Black Consciousness Revolutionary organisation registered with the Independent Electoral Commission. BLF holds that the primary contradiction in South Africa was created in 1652 with the arrival of the settler colonialists from Europe. This contradiction today is White
Supremacy which in the economic sphere manifests as White Monopoly Capital. The organising logic of White Supremacy is land theft.
2. Notice of “Invitation for Written Comments on the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Amendment Bill [B15D-2013]” which is published on the parliament website (https://www.parliament.gov.za/committee-notice-details/12)
Land and justice
3. The resolution of the question of “Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development” is dependent on the resolution of the land question which in turn is central to the realization of black liberation. The necessary precondition to this end is to ensure that the land is returned by any means necessary without paying for it. Without land there is no freedom or dignity. Land is the basis of the freedom, identity, spiritual well-being, economic development and culture of black people.
4. The call for land expropriation without compensation made by President Zuma is a critically important step in the right direction and the committee has to adopt this as the primary principle to realise the transformation of the minerals and petroleum sector. We can’t talk about minerals and petroleum without addressing the land
5. All of the land in South African in white hands was stolen from black people. Therefore, all white people who hold land including, in this case, the mines are in possession of stolen property. This stolen land includes all of its endowments on its surface, together with all the fortunes underground as well as the sky – all of it belongs to black people.
6. Justice will only prevail once the stolen land is returned to the black majority. Since thieves are not known to be generous people who voluntarily return stolen goods, this places the responsibility of redress and justice on the shoulders of the dispossessed. The battle for land by any means necessary is not only a battle for an important economic commodity (land amounts to more than just its economic value), it’s also about who we are and about those who perished in the many brutal colonial wars in defense of the land. Land return shall heal black people!
Nationalisation and socialization of the mineral and natural resources
7. On the subject matter of the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Amendment Bill [B15D-2013], BLF calls for the nationalisation and socialization of the mineral and natural resources. This in turn entails the democratization of the economy through nationalizing 100% of its commanding heights.
8. Ownership, control and management of all mineral wealth shall translate into direct ownership by the people and state protection of people’s rights.
What is to be done?
Broad based meaningful economic empowerment
9. In line with achieving the main goals of ensuring the radical transformation of the economy, eradicating poverty, creating jobs and other means of livelihood, maintaining macroeconomic stability and developing, enhancing and sustaining the economy’s capacity to produce goods and services – ideological guidelines and policy to inform the achievement of these goals must be devised and implemented.
10. To this end the issue of Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development shall focus on Broad Based Meaningful Economic Empowerment to ensure that the majority of South Africans are integrated, through the State, into the mainstream economy and that the people become drivers and beneficiaries of the economic activities in the country.
11. More specifically, ideological guidelines and policy must be devised to elaborate on inter alia the following as a means to achieve Broad Based Meaningful Economic Empowerment:
a. Community Share Ownership Schemes so as to:
i) counter the culture of the patronizing Corporate Social Responsibility concessionary programs that has traditionally characterised big mining businesses;
ii) secure for the community a proportion (at least 20%) of the equity in the mining businesses;
iii) secure for the community meaningful proportional representation in the official control and management structure of the scheme;
iv) enable communities to benefit from the natural resources of the country, and;
v) reinforce the role of the communities in economic development by enabling them to make the right decisions in terms their empowerment priorities.
b. Worker and State Share Ownership schemes so as to:
i) ensure that workers participate through the medium of having direct equity stake in the mining enterprise they are working in;
ii) secure for the workers a significant proportion (at least 20%) of the equity in the mining enterprises;
iii. secure for the workers meaningful proportional representation in the official control and management structures of schemes;
iv) secure for the workers sufficient all round job satisfaction and stable employment, and;
v) reinforce the role of workers in the development and increase of industrialization for import substitution by enabling them to make the right decisions in terms their empowerment priorities.
c. Direct Equity Participation schemes so as to:
i) ensure black majority shareholding in all strategic economic actions;
ii) ensure all mergers, restructurings, unbundling of business, de-mergers, relinquishment of a controlling interest shall comply with the black majority shareholding requirement, and;
iii) ensure that any direct equity achieved from c (i) and (ii) as well as from the Worker Share Ownership Schemes and Community Share ownership schemes shall serve the sole purpose of ensuring that participation and ownership in the economic activities of the country maintain and perpetuate the total nationalization of the commanding heights of the economy so as to facilitate the rectification of past injustices including poverty eradication and economic growth along black socialist lines.
d) Procurement of goods so as to:
i) facilitate import substitution through supporting the procurement of goods from indigenous South Africans.
ii) ensure that at least 70% of the goods procured by all enterprises should be procured from the indigenous population;
iii) put legislation in place to ensure that commercial contracts are concluded with indigenous entrepreneurs so as to guarantee the development of indigenous businesses, the enhancement of livelihoods and the ultimate growth of the economy of South Africa.
e. National Sovereign Wealth Development Fund so as to:
i) reduce the wide gap between the rich and the poor and ensure economic growth;
ii) filter the income from the nations natural resources towards the rectification of past injustices including poverty eradication and economic growth;
iii) address the finite status of mineral resources by developing secondary industries as alternative bases of development after the mineral resources have been depleted, and;
iv) finance development programs across the country so as to stimulate the growth of the country’s economy.
f. Strategic Sector Specific Frameworks so as to:
i) ensure that the indigenous black majority participates in the various strategic sectors such as mining, education, agriculture, manufacturing, communication, finance, tourism etc so as to facilitate the rectification of past injustices including poverty eradication and economic growth.
12. The Black Agenda shall devise and recommend Ideological guidelines to elaborate on:
i) the mechanisms to be put in place to ensure that the system of state monopoly capitalism, that Direct Equity Participation schemes will tend to feed into and perpetuate, is made to serve the interests of the whole people so as to cease to be state capitalism;
ii) the need for the reorganization and higher development of industry and to that end its adjustment to the needs of the black majority as a crucial aspect of the realization of economic freedom along socialist lines to replace racial capitalism;
iii) the mechanisms to be put in place to ensure that the above Direct Equity Participation schemes do not serve to create and promote (as a reactionary strategic objective) an indigenous anti-black bourgeoisie coexisting with or replacing the current one, and;
iv) the mechanisms to be put in place to ensure that the above Direct Equity Participation schemes serve to destroy the current anti-black neo colonial economic order and replace it with one that is responsive to people’s needs.
13. BLF notes that the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Amendment Bill will vest in the minerals department the power to promote as well as oversee mining. In this context mines can transgress environmental issues with impunity as the minerals department is unlikely to shut them down and give up its income.
14. The amendments would further promote and entrench inequality between the owners of mines and the black majority. To this end it ensures that mining companies would not respond to the environmental and water affairs that are integrally related to mineral affairs. By extension, mining companies would not respond to the needs of black local communities.
On penal provisions
15. The penalties attached to the infringement of environmental laws carry much heavier sentences for offenders than those attached to the infringement of mining laws where the environment is found to have been harmed.
16. To this end, for a first time offender regarding environmental law a fine of R5 million or five years term of imprisonment may be imposed whereas for a first time offender regarding mining legislation, a fine of R100 000 and or a term of two years imprisonment may be imposed. It must be pointed out that both these penal provisions are shockingly lenient.
17. Penalties must equate to 50% of the annual turn over for the guilty party or a term of of imprisonment of 10 years.
Silence on Zama Zamas
18. The Amedment Act is silent on the so called Zama Zama’s. These are the real miners and owners of the land. BLF calls for the legal recognition of the artisanal or small scale miners known as Zama Zamas. These are the real owners of the minerals in our country. They are not a foreign force here to exploit and murder like the British Lonmin Mining which, with the help of the Deputy President Mr
Ramaphosa, conducted the Marikana Massacre. These white owned mines continue to terrorise our people and even murder them.
19. BLF advices that the Amendment Bill incorporates provisions for formal recognition of the Zama Zama miners (decriminalisation). Also that the state and mining houses be tasked with ensuring the safety of the Zama Zama miners. Furthermore, that the state be the official buyer from the Zama Zama miners. This will end the criminality encouraged by WMC which robs the Zama Zama miners through illegal buying of their products.
20. The Amendment Act should include provisions for freeing all currently arrested Zama Zamas and for an annual evaluation of the Artisanal mining sector.
BLF Supports the Mining Charter of 2017
21. The proposal is that the Amendment Bill should be brought in line with the provisions of Mining Charter. Only defenders of white monopoly capital and those who are controlled by British imperialism would oppose the Mining Charter. It’s the most radical and revolutionary policy directive since 1994.
22. Who can, in their right minds, oppose these provisions?
•Minimum 30% BEE for all mining rights to be apportioned as follows:
– 8% employees
– 8% mining communities
– 14% black entrepreneurs
• Right-holders who are already at 30% black shareholding are not required to
• Minimum 50% plus 1 Black Person shareholding for all new prospecting rights; must include voting rights.
• Right-holder to pay 1% of annual turnover to the 30% BEE prior to any distributions to its shareholders. Provisions of Companies Act 71, 2008 will apply
• A right holder who claims a Historical BEE Transaction (transaction that achieved 26% prior to 2017 Charter) must top up to 30% within 12 months. This applies even where the black person shareholding is no longer 26% due to either a BEE partner exiting or the contract with the BEE partner lapsing or the transfer of shares by the BEE partner to non-BEE persons.
• A right holder who has maintained 26% black person shareholding is required to top up its black person shareholding to 30% within 12 months of the 2017 Mining Charter coming into effect.
ii. Employment equity
• Board level: 50% black; 25% to be women
• Executive/Top management: 50% black; 25% to be women
• Senior management: 60% black; 30% to be women
• Middle management: 75% black; 38% to be women
• Junior management: 88% black; 44% to be women
• 70% of all mining goods to be from BEE entities
• 80% of all services to be from BEE entities
• 100% of mineral samples to be analysed by SA-based firms
• Foreign suppliers to pay 1% of their annual turnover to the Mining Transformation and Development Agency.
• A maximum offsetting of 11% against BEE shareholding; must meet the following criteria:
– invested in beneficiation since 2004;
– the beneficiation must be in line with the definition of beneficiation contained in the MPRDA;
– the Department of Mineral Resources must approve such beneficiation;
-11% offsetting will not apply to beneficiation that started after 2004 but has since ceased or that has been terminated; and
-11% offsetting can only be claimed if the beneficiation is still ongoing.
v. Housing and living conditions
• Principles as set out in the Housing and Living Conditions Standards for the Mining and Minerals Industry developed in terms of section 100(1)(a) of the MPRDA which includes:
– decent standards of housing;
– centrality of home ownership;
– provision for social, physical and economic integrated human settlements;
– involvement of employees in the housing administrative system;
– affordable, equitable and sustainable health system; and
– proper nutrition requirements and standards.
vi. Human resource development
• 5% investment of the Leviable Amount on skills development, apportioned as follows:
– 2% on essential skills development activities such as artisanal training, bursaries, literacy and numeracy skills for employees and non-employees (community members);
– 1% towards South African Historically Black Academic Institutions; and
– 2% towards the Mining Transformation and Development Agency.
23. BLF calls on this Committee to make the Mining Charter an intergral part of the Amendment Act and to strengthen the monitoring and evaluation responsibility – for instance, the Mining Charter makes provision for 30% black owners in 12 months. It’s up to the committee to make it a legislative imperative to report on a quarterly basis the progress being made.
Transform the banking system now!
24. The important reforms of the mining sector are going to be sabotaged by the colonial, racist and corrupt banking sector. There is no point in allocating these important percentages of ownership in the mining sector to blacks when white monopoly capital has total control over the financial sector, specifically banking.
25. This Committee must of necessity in the interests of wholistic Radical Economic Transformation, act in tandem with in particular the Treasury. It has to be impressed upon Minister Malusi Gigaba that his reluctance to move with great speed in licencing black banks and a State bank is an act of self sabotage.
26. Treasury must be employed to immediately fully licence the banks that are black or State owned (but are treated like second class citizens) – such as the Ithala Bank; the Venda Building Society (VBS), Postbank – and assist private black banks. All this must happen immediately or blacks are going to be at the mercy of rogue banks like ABSA.
27. We can’t afford half measures if we want Radical Economic Transformation!
20 June 2017