It was at a mining industry gathering at the swanky Inanda Club in Sandton last month, where delegates overlooking a world-class polo field nibbled on canapés and sipped frothy cappuccinos, that South32 COO Mike Fraser raised the issue.

Mining companies, once the backbone of the SA economy, now find themselves on the frontline as economic malaise and growing poverty have caused community unrest. And, as the frustrations among mine-affected communities head towards boiling point, SA miners are sounding the alarm.

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