There is an interesting parallel between the South African mining industry’s response to Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane and the Mining Charter he has introduced, and the mining sector’s response to a superprofit tax in Australia that helped bring down Prime Minister Kevin Rudd. The obvious similarity is that both mining sectors have been engaged in what they argue is a fight for their survival in the face of a grasping government burdening companies with more demands. However, unlike in Australia, miners in SA are unlikely to win much sympathy among the broader populace, given its dismal history of exploitation and treatment of black workers during its 150-year history.Local miners face an altogether different battle to bring society to its side against a government headed by a liberation party, albeit one holding a rapidly decaying moral high ground. They are on a hiding to nothing arguing against more black ownership and transformation of the sector as outlined in the ...

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