The Portfolio Committee on Mineral Resources met on 30 July 2013 for a briefing by the Department of Mineral Resources (“DMR”) on the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Amendment Bill (“the Bill”).
While the industry was well represented, the same could not be said for the Portfolio Committee.
The intention of the meeting was to provide members of the Portfolio Committee (PC) with an overview on the amendments and to address any questions that they may have.
The main issues raised and in relation to which there appeared to be a clear political division were:
- That the DMR did not take into account the comments submitted by industry as demonstrated by the fact that they had received 80 submissions, but that the version of the Bill published in December is virtually identical to that published in June 2013. DMR indicated that they had adequately consulted with key stakeholders and that such key stakeholders are satisfied with the current version of the Bill.
- That the Bill will discourage investment into SA petroleum resources.
- The linking of fines to a percentage of sales.
- The rationale for the section 9 bidding rounds.
- The State being allowed to appoint two directors to the board of mining companies.
- The fact that the Bill lacks detail and that the contents of a number of the provisions have been left to be addressed in regulations.
- Disbandment of the Petroleum Agency of South Africa.
The chairperson of the Portfolio Committee stated that the notices to the public inviting comments on the Bill would be published in the next week or two and that public hearings on the Bill would be held during September. She further indicated that the goal is to get the Bill passed by the end of this year.
Compiled by Lizel Oberholzer, Bowman Gilfillan