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THE debate on sustainable empowerment and radical economic participation is timely. With South Africa one of the most unequal societies, registering close to 0.7 on the Gini coefficient, we are acutely aware of the risks of economic exclusion and inequality, particularly in mining communities. There should be public benefit from mineral resources. Ownership and leadership of the mining industry must be transformed in line with demographics, particularly taking cognisance of how apartheid laws criminalised black entrepreneurship and professional development. The level of black shareholding in mineral resources is too low and there is concern about regression in ownership patterns of mining companies. We need a more nuanced approach to analysing progress in facilitating black capital and asset formation. In short, we need to consider BEE equity from balance sheet and social redress perspectives. We need to caution against a fixation with gross value - often a representation of the deb...

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