Mineral Resources Minister Gwede Mantashe will propose to cabinet the scrapping of the Bill drafted to amend the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act (MPRDA).
“The Minister’s approach appears to be sensible given the underlying reasons for the current delays in finalising the Bill,” says the Minerals Council South Africa in response the minister’s announcement.
Intensive and useful engagements involving the Minerals Council and others took place over a number of years with successive ministers towards achieving consensus on a range of issues covered in the Bill.
However, there remain a number of constitutional concerns, both substantive and procedural, which remain unresolved. Constitutional challenges, which were threatened by a range of interested parties, would have meant continuing uncertainty for the industry as these wound their way through the courts.
In the absence of resolving those concerns, withdrawal of the Bill seems to be a more appropriate option.
The Minerals Council is hopeful that, should Minister Mantashe choose at some stage to introduce a new Amendment Bill, it will take proper account of the areas of consensus reached during the exhaustive discussions previously held.