In true-to-form style, on the 28 November 2019, the Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy, published draft amendments to the Regulations under section 107 of the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act 28 of 2002.
This is true-to-form because comments are due just after Christmas but before New Years, conveniently during the period when most Interested and Affected Parties, the vast majority being of the Blue- and White-Collar Work Force, are on their Annual Leave.
One glaring issue with the new Amendments is the definition of the term Interested and Affected Persons, which is now proposed to exclude the ‘man on the street’ as someone who has the right to make comment or raise concerns.
The new definition proposed is as follows:
“Interested and affected persons” means a natural or juristic person or an association of persons with a direct interest in the proposed or existing operation or who may be affected by the proposed or existing operation. These include, but are not limited to; –
(i) Host Communities
(ii) Landowners (Traditional and Title Deed owners)
(iii) Traditional Authority
(iv) Land Claimants
(v) Lawful land occupier
(vi) Holders of informal rights
(vii) The Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development
(viii) Any other person (including on adjacent and non-adjacent properties) whose socioeconomic conditions may be directly affected by the proposed prospecting or mining operation
(ix) The Local Municipality
(x) The relevant Government Departments, agencies and institutions responsible for the various aspects of the environment and for infrastructure which may be affected by the proposed project.
In addition, a large portion of the i) Environmental regulations for mineral development, Petroleum exploration and production Chapter, and the ii) pollution control and waste management regulation Chapter, have been repealed.
Comments are due on 27 December 2019 (30 days after the publication of the Notice No. 1554). To download a copy of the gazette, please go to: https://www.gov.za/documents/mineral-and-petroleum-resources-development-act-regulations-amendments-draft-28-nov-2019