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DMR: Minister Zwane's intention to issue moratorium

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DMR: Minister Zwane's intention to issue moratorium

Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane
Photo by Duane
Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane

20th July 2017

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/ MEDIA STATEMENT / The content on this page is not written by Polity.org.za, but is supplied by third parties. This content does not constitute news reporting by Polity.org.za.

Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane has issued a notice in terms of section 49(1) of the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act.

The notice invites representations from relevant stakeholders on the Minister's intention to place a moratorium on the granting and processing of any new applications for  prospecting and/or mining rights in terms of section 16 and 22 of the Act, and the processing of applications for renewal of a prospecting right and/or renewal of a mining right in terms of sections 18 and 24 of the Act, and the granting of section 22 applications.

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The intention to issue a moratorium was necessitated by the urgent interdict lodged by the Chamber of Mines against the Minister, which interdict is opposed by the Minister.

The Chamber’s court papers stated that the urgent interim interdict was sought by it pending the outcome of an application to Review and set aside the 2017 Mining Charter. The Review application has not yet been instituted by the Chamber.

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The Chamber had set the urgent application down for hearing on 18 July 2017, and had stipulated a date for the filing of the Minister’s answering affidavit which, having regard to the complexity and importance of the matter, gave the Minister inadequate time to prepare his answering affidavit.

It is the Minister's view that this matter must be handled in a responsible and reasonable manner, and thus the undertaking not to implement or apply the provisions of the 2017 Charter until that application has been heard and judgement given, which is anticipated to take place in September 2017. The Minister’s undertaking is therefore only until such time.

The Minister did so in order to facilitate the conduct of the urgent interim interdict application and in doing so, the Minister has made it clear that the undertaking was without any concession on the Minister’s part that the Chamber is entitled to any court order for the interim interdict it seeks in the urgent application.

The moratorium would ensure that any applications, as listed above, are concluded in terms of the 2017 Mining Charter, and advance the socio-economic transformation objectives of government. All written representations must reach the Department by 4th August 2017. The final moratorium issued would be in force until further notice.

 

Issued by the Department of Mineral Resources

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