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By Citizen Reporter


Gayton McKenzie: ‘House niggars’ are against Zwane’s Mining Charter

After a tumultuous Friday, he told the industry to 'go to hell' with its 'investor fear stories'.

Controversial businessman, politician and author Gayton McKenzie took to Twitter on Friday to swim against the tide and declare that Mining Minister Mosebenzi Zwane’s new Mining Charter was an excellent idea and would do much to create opportunities for the youth.

The charter had been met with much negative reaction in the markets on Thursday, with mining stocks taking a beating following news that government’s new guidelines will punish companies that don’t have at least 30% black ownership within 12 months, up from the previous 26%.

The new charter will also require 50% plus one black shareholding in a company for prospecting rights to be granted.

The industry, with the Chamber of Mines’ support, plans to challenge the new charter in court due to the fact that mining companies feel they were not adequately consulted and did not buy in to the charter amendments, unlike during the charter’s previous two iterations.

Large mining firms consider BEE an additional tax imposed by government.

The industry has struggled to maintain profitability over the past few years, with pressures placed on it by a downturn in commodity prices and numerous cases of labour unrest, particularly along the platinum belt.

However, mining companies continue to be criticised for their ongoing high salaries for executives.

McKenzie, who has himself been involved in the industry for about 10 years following a career that started as a bank robber – which then segued into motivational speaking and publishing after his release from prison – had high praise for Zwane’s charter. McKenzie’s presence in the mining industry made headlines a number of years ago when his involvement in a BEE deal with Gold Fields was a major talking point.

Writing in a long series of tweets, McKenzie said the black executives at the Chamber of Mines who were “threatening and ridiculing” the charter with legal action were allegedly “house niggars” (a reference to the era of slavery in the US).

He called the charter “revolutionary” because of its potential to “bring thousands of blacks into mining”.

He slammed white executives in the industry, calling them “selfish” and caring “little for the welfare of the black child, yours is a pursuit of profit, you r white, old & wealthy but still greedy”.

He described those in the media who have allegedly been joining the chorus of outrage against the charter as “joke journalists” helping the “old white men” to block the door to black entry into the industry. He also accused white executives of arrogance for apparently believing that investors are looking to invest in them, instead of South Africa’s natural resources.

McKenzie charged that “Russian and Chinese” investors would be ready to step in if the West turned its back on South African mining.

“Go to hell with your investors fear stories,” he wrote.

He encouraged young black people to read the new charter and see the opportunities in it, because “catering & being a DJ cannot be the only way 2 economic emancipation”. He also believes the new charter can create opportunities for black women.

“Black youth get yourself a prospecting right, it will cost you less than 5k. You can search for an investor with a prospecting right.”

McKenzie added that he would be looking to get involved in the upcoming court case against Zwane as a “friend of the Mining Charter”, adding: “We are taking over the chamber of mines. You are representing a small elite, we need new leadership.”

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