Experts say proposals on prescribed state ownership and BEE will scare off investors.
The system is on its way out but its legacy endures - in low wages and dwindling union membership.
The hostel systems of the past have to be replaced by housing with one individual per room, writes Johann Barnard.
There is nervousness in the sector as companies have to ensure they comply with the mining charter's requirements by next year.
The mining charter in its current form betrays the principles of empowerment and should be aligned with the BEE Act, the Black Managent Forum said.
Mining Minister Susan Shabangu is confident a government-set ownership target for blacks in the mining sector will be exceeded.
Transformation is in the spotlight, but no two sets of figures seem to agree.
President Jacob Zuma said on Saturday he plans to focus on enforcing safety measures to curb mining deaths which have hurt output.
South Africa expects the metal price downturn to get worse and affect the economy further through capital flight and job losses.