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At an industry gathering in February, I was asked why it is so hard to simply do away with the Mining Charter and come up with something new, since the current one had become the product of a poisoned chalice. However, discarding the charter, scrapping it entirely, is not an option. It would give the impression that the issues raised by it are not worth resolving. Poisoned chalice or not, doing away with the charter might give some who oppose transformation the impression that they’ve won. The decision by the Department of Mineral Resources to use the current charter as the basis for further engagement is therefore a sensible, necessary way of establishing authority on the part of minister Gwede Mantashe. You would have noticed the changed mood in SA’s mining industry since the new dawn of President Cyril Ramaphosa. He committed the government and the social partners to urgently solve the Mining Charter crisis and kick-started the process by appointing a new political principal, to ...

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