The government has scrapped plans to compel mining companies to contribute 1% of their annual turnover to a new community development agency, because it fears the funds could be abused. There was a risk that the agency "could easily be a slush fund", Mineral Resources Minister Gwede Mantashe said in a phone interview on Wednesday. "We are not going to put it in." The levy was proposed in a draft of the Mining Charter that was introduced by former mineral resources minister Mosebenzi Zwane, and was one of a number of measures producers challenged in court, saying it would push up their costs. Zwane was fired in February when Cyril Ramaphosa replaced Jacob Zuma as President, and appointed Mantashe, a former mine worker union leader who agreed to review the charter. Zwane had proposed that the development agency would have directly accounted to the mineral resources minister, a provision that may have been in conflict with public finance laws that give the South African Revenue Service...

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