SA is not a dictatorship. If the chamber of mines, representing 90% of the industry by value, believes the new mining charter is unworkable and was gazetted without taking its views into account, the charter is not going to survive in its present form. Unless mineral resources minister Mosebenzi Zwane agrees to reopen negotiations, the charter will be challenged on several legal grounds. This is easy to forget in the first wave of panic that followed the gazetting of a detailed and prescriptive charter on June 15. It is the third version of the mining charter, which is revised every five years. Previous mining charters failed radically to change ownership in the industry. The minister’s response was to stiffen the measures that have already failed to do more than enrich a handful of black people, instead of finding new solutions. "What was released today is a negative for growth, investment in the sector and job creation, in our view," says Nomura economist Peter Attard Montalto. "T...

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