The constitution seeks to redress the racial imbalances of the past and in the mining industry this is achieved by the mining charter. The charter aims to have at least 26% of mining companies’ equity held by Historically Disadvantaged South Africans (HDSA) although recently there have been efforts to restrict this to just black people. It also seeks to enforce employment equity and to develop and train HDSA’s. In 2016 the constitution was asked to rule on the question of “once empowered always empowered” in terms of which the mining companies want previous BEE allocations of shares to be recognised, even if they have subsequently been sold to other groups. The draft mining charter currently disallows the effect of previous BEE schemes. In June 2017, the mining minister, Mosebenzi Zwane, confirmed plans to raise the minimum level of black ownership of South African mines from 26% to 30%, proportioned between entrepreneurs, employees and communities. This had a negative impact on the rand, which fell 2% to the dollar.
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