22 April 2010 at 7:37 pm
Acknowledging the cumulative pollution impact of derelict, ownerless and unrehablitated mines in South Africa, the Minister of Mineral Resources, Susan Shabangu, announced in Parliament today that she had established a Rehabilitation Oversight Committee to drive the implementation of a rehabilitation programme for all mines which were licensed prior to 1991, and said that R52 million had been set aside for implementation of this programme.
Minister Shabangu also announced that the turnaround times for processing applications for mining rights will be reduced from 12 to 6 months, whilst the turnaround time of applications for prospecting rights will be reduced from 6 to 3 months. It is not clear how this change will be effected, as it will likely require amendments to legislation outside of the Minister’s purview, such as the National Environmental Management Act and the National Water Act.
The Minister’s full address can be accessed here.