In the preamble to the third Mining Charter gazetted by mineral resources minister Gwede Mantashe, the point is driven home about the dysfunctional state of mining communities. It notes that in the review of progress made under the 2004 charter, the first document to map out the requirements for social, workplace and ownership transformation of the mining sector, not enough had been done. In recording an assessment of compliance with the 2010 charter a decade after the first iteration, the preamble contains a telling point. "The majority of mining communities continue to live in abject poverty despite the state being the custodian of the country’s mineral wealth on behalf of the nation," it notes. It goes on to touch on one of the poison roots that fester in communities around mines, the transfer of tangible benefits from companies’ coffers to people living around mines. "As a result of inefficient administration, trusts holding the interest of mine employees and communities constra...

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