Mineral resources minister seeking advice on Minerals Bill

Mineral Resources Minister Ngoako Ramatlhodi was seeking legal advice on testing some provisions of the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Amendment Bill, he said on Tuesday.

He told delegates at the 2015 Mining Indaba in Cape Town that he welcomed President Jacob Zuma’s recent referral of the controversial Bill back to Parliament.

Zuma said last month that the Bill did not pass constitutional muster. This included concern over SA’s international trade obligations, excessive discretion given to the mineral resources minister, and that public hearings were not held properly.

In a media briefing, Ramatlhodi expanded that because the Bill had been referred back to Parliament and not the department, he needed advice on what stage the department could be able to enter proceedings.

“It makes sense that we think of testing some of the things upfront so there is no waste of time.”

Anyone who felt aggrieved with the process could approach the department.

“I cannot give you any better clarity on this policy issue because our policies are justiciable. I trust it is as clear as the blue skies of South Africa,” he said, to laughter.

“You would be hard pressed to find a similar legality anywhere in the world.”

He assured delegates that the country was a stable mining environment for investors.

“We wish to emphasise our intention to provide regulatory certainty for those who have invested here and those who plan to do so.”

He said that thanks to a streamlined licencing process, he expected mining, environment and water use licences to be issued simultaneously within 300 days.

Government’s commitment
Government was committing to sustainable energy and labour solutions, amid difficulties at Eskom and an unprecedented months-long strike by platinum miners.

“Government is supporting Eskom to attain a long-term sustainable financial solution.”

He said the country was not new to nuclear power and was to reactivate “capabilities that we had abandoned at the dawn of our democratic dispensation”.

Miners who broke the law during labour negotiations would be arrested, charged and sent to jail.

On August 16 2012, 34 people, mostly striking mineworkers, were shot dead in a clash with police near Lonmin mine in Marikana, North West. More than 70 others were wounded.

In the preceding week, 10 people – including two policemen and two security guards – were killed.

Ramatlhodi said this strike was an exception to the rule and he did not see a repeat of it.

Should such a strike reoccur, however, political office would once again be brought into negotiations to end it.

In light of restructuring in the industry, the department was looking to take advantage of certain assets to establish “a new champion” broad-based enterprise, single or multi-commodity, that would focus on strong worker participation.

Ramatlhodi said he was in talks with mining businesses such as Anglo American and BHP Billiton in terms of section 11 of the Mining Act, which deals with the transfer of prospecting or mining rights. – Sapa

Make sense of your world

Subscribe to Mail & Guardian at R10/mth for the first three months. Cancel anytime.

Subscribers get access to all our best journalism, subscriber-only newsletters, events and a weekly cryptic crossword.

Sapaxxxx
Guest Author

Related stories

WELCOME TO YOUR M&G

Already a subscriber? Sign in here

Advertising

Latest stories

Public protector to investigate president

ANC MP Mervyn Dirks has asked Busisiwe Mkhwebane to investigate Ramaphosa’s ‘failure to report corruption’

NPA fails to deal with R7.8bn in Covid-19 corruption

Not ‘trial ready’: 386 Special Investigating Unit referrals lead to just one case in court so far

Cyril the Bullet Dodger

The presidential bobbing and weaving over ANC campaign funding is about to come to an end

Just three car models make up nearly 50% of SA...

‘Toyota Quantum and HiAce vehicles are on road on a semi-full-time basis and travel more kilometres vs other models and would, thus, be exposed to more on-road conflict situations,’ the report reads
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…
×