South Africa: Petroleum Amendment Bill to Be Published Soon for Public Comment

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The draft bill to govern SA's oil and gas sectors will be published for public comment within three weeks, Minerals and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe said at the Africa Oil Week Conference. The minister also signalled that coal-fired plants scheduled for mothballing could be revived as gas-powered plants by the private sector.

It will be too late to showcase to investors at the Africa Oil Week (AOW) conference in Cape Town but the long-waited draft of the Petroleum Amendment Bill will be released within three weeks for public comment, Minerals and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe told a news briefing on Thursday 7 November.

A cynic might suggest that was a deliberate ploy as it may contain policies - perhaps onerous BEE or "free carry" clauses - that investors would recoil at, but the public will have to wait and see. The document is not set in stone yet, which suggests there is still political wrangling around it. Asked if he could reveal any highlights from the bill in advance, Mantashe noted it was still being scrutinised by Cabinet.

"Whatever is in there now could be changed," he said.

That is probably fair enough, but not having it ready for AOW...

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