Parliament's Mineral Resources Portfolio Committee this afternoon passed the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Amendment Bill. In the DA this law is referred to as the 'crony enrichment bill', because of the power to designate mining licence beneficiaries it will provide the Minister.
Other disastrous provisions of the Bill include:
- The Minister will be able to block exports and force mines to sell minerals at a lower local price;
- The state will be entitled to take over 100% of oil and gas companies, 20% for free and the other 80% at a forced, 'fire sale' price; and
- Allow the Minister to rule the sector by making regulations which can easily be changed at short notice.
These and other provisions will stop mining sector growth and probably lead to closed shafts and workers losing their jobs. It will also mean fewer exports and a worse balance of payments position.
South Africa's promising new on and offshore oil and gas sector is now unlikely to ever develop.
It is very likely the Bill will be challenged by the industry for being unconstitutional, as it will contravene international trade agreements.
The DA has fought this Bill in committee and will continue to do so when it comes before the House, which is expected to happen next week.
James Lorimer, Shadow Minister of Mineral Resources