Mining is a critical sector for national and local development in South Africa. This article analyses the nature of the changing regulatory and legislative environment affecting mining enterprises in South Africa and of issues relating to partnerships for local economic development. The discussion highlights the significant role of government regulation of mining activity and its leverage of partnerships. The most distinctive aspect of the South African record relates to the requirement for Social and Labour Plans. Opportunities exist for these plans to be a basis for a smooth transition to a post-mining economy in those local communities which are mining-dependent. Nevertheless, critical challenges remain in linking the commitments made by mining companies in their Social and Labour plans to municipal integrated development planning, one of the anchors for local development planning in South Africa. Further research is required on the shifting impress of mining on local communities in South Africa, government frameworks and of the challenges of partnerships for mining-led local economic development.
Key words: Mining enterprise, partnerships, local economic development, South Africa.
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