The Chamber’s CEO, Roger Baxter explained the group’s motivation in a private press briefing at the Joburg Indaba and said, the decision “was not an impetuous decision. It was not a decision based on personal animosity towards the minister. It was a carefully considered decision based on the current regulatory and judicial situation.”
“Not only has Minister Zwane unilaterally published a charter whose full implementation would destroy the industry‚ he also recklessly sought to introduce a moratorium on approving new rights or amending rights. He did so on the basis of his refusal to engage on the issues…You can’t do things about us, without us,” said Baxter.
The CEO said that Zwane’s gazetted charter establishes an agency that would administer billions of rands each year appropriated from the industry with no indications of plans for good governance.
Baxter told press at the briefing that he felt compelled to explain the Chambers stance, after the conference organiser chose to publicise their decision (to boycott the gala dinner), which the Chamber said was conveyed to him purely as a matter of courtesy to assist his organizational considerations.
He said when asked if he was willing to meet up with the minister and engage on the charter prior to any court hearings,“We will only be talking to the minister through the courts, because we don’t think he will negotiate this charter in a manner which is conducive to the national interest. So let’s let the court cases run, they will run, and then we will see what the consequences of that are, but were relying on our legal action.”