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The South African economy’s stubborn lack of growth shows that we have still not recovered fully from the 2008 economic crisis. While the World Bank forecasts an average 4.5% GDP growth for emerging markets, our growth forecast is 1.1%. There are many reasons for this dismal performance, but most would agree that policy uncertainty in crucial areas of the economy, especially relating to transformation, is a leading factor. In that context, and given mining’s important role in the economy, it is imperative that the Mining Charter be accepted and implemented as quickly as possible. The most contentious issue in the charter proposed by the Department of Mineral Resources is the question of black ownership. All parties agree that enabling a substantial black stake in mining is vital; the sticking point is whether, once an empowerment partner exits the deal by selling to a non-empowered party, new black partners must be brought on board. The department unequivocally believes the requirem...

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