Mineral Resources Bill referred back to Parliament

JANUARY 19, 2015

President Jacob Zuma has referred the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Bill back to the National Assembly for reconsideration, the Presidency said on Friday.

“After careful consideration of the Bill and the submissions received, the President is of the view that the Bill as it stands would not pass constitutional muster,” Presidency spokesperson Mac Maharaj said.

The Bill was passed by Parliament last year and then referred to the President for assent and signing into law.

South Africa’s Constitution requires that the President must assent to and sign the Bill referred to him by the National Assembly.

However, in terms of Section 79(1) of the Constitution, 1996, if the President has reservations about the constitutionality of the Bill, he may refer it back to the National Assembly for reconsideration.

The draft Bill, among other things, aims to regulate how mining licenses are awarded.

New changes are designed to align the bill with laws that are aimed at protecting the environment and iron out ambiguities in the bill's previous version.

The draft bill also called for a new definition on beneficiation to be inserted into the Act, increase social development as a spin-off from mining and integrate administrative processes relating to mining rights.

Further, the proposed legislation aimed to establish regional mining development and environmental committees. –SAnews.gov.za