Any evaluation of the draft new Mining Charter Mineral Resources Minister Gwede Mantashe gazetted last week needs two starting points: one is that the industry has done much to transform and tackle the legacies of the past but there is still much to be done; the other is the fact that investment in SA’s mining industry in 2017 was significantly lower in real terms than it was in 2010, and so too was the number of people employed in the industry. The industry needs transformation, but unless it can attract more investment, there will eventually be nothing left to transform. Without a significant and sustained increase in capital spending, SA’s mining industry will continue to shrink, as will the number of livelihoods it provides for workers and communities as well as the economic activity, tax revenue and foreign exchange earnings it provides for SA. The charter has therefore to strike an appropriate balance between the pursuit of transformation and the pursuit of competitiveness and...

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