In a notice published on 31 October 2015, the Department of Minerals & Energy has given the mining industry and the upstream petroleum industry a reprieve from applying the principles of Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment ("B-BBEE"), except the requirement to "continue maintaining compliance with ... the Mining Charter".

This means that the Department of Minerals & Energy does not need to assess applicants for licences on the basis of their B-BBEE scorecards at all and that Department can apply any other criteria that it wishes as a basis for issuing licences.

The Mining Charter, which was published in 2004 as a schedule to the Mineral & Petroleum Resources Development Act, 28 of 2002, contains very different criteria to those contained in the B-BBEE Codes of Good Practice.  Other than the target of 26% black ownership and 10% black female employee participation, mining entities are largely able to set their own targets, in consultation with the Department of Minerals and Energy.