And this week, that issue is coming to a head - just as some potentially bigger problems emerge for the industry in this troubled nation.
Reports last week suggested that South Africa's government has now finalized amendments to the mining charter - policies that have been promised by lawmakers since mid-2016.
South Africa's Chamber of Mines told Bloomberg this week it hasn't had any communications from the government on the new charter. In fact, Chamber officials said they haven't received any notices at all since March — suggesting the government has gone to "stealth mode" in moving controversial measures forward.
Early reports suggest the amended charter will indeed be more onerous for miners. Raising black ownership targets to 30 percent, from a current 26 percent.