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Mining

Submissions on draft legislation

2023: National Water Amendment Bill

On 17 November 2023, the Minister of Water and Sanitation published the National Water Amendment Bill (B-2023).

The Centre for Environmental Rights submitted comments on this Bill on 1 March 2024. You can see our submissions here.

The Bill seeks to amend the National Water Act 36 of 1998 so as to:

  • insert and amend certain definitions;
  • ensure equitable water allocation and optimize the use of water in support of the guiding principles of National Water Act;
  • prohibit undesirable consequences of private water trading;
  •  further provide for the purpose of the Act;
  • provide for the review period of the national water resource strategy to be increased to 10 years;
  • provide for the periodic review of the determination of a class of a water resource and a water resource quality objectives;
  • provide for the period review of the Reserve;
  • further provide for the protection of water source areas;
  • further provide for the transfer of water use authorisations;
  • provide for the reallocation of water;
  • further provide for the making of regulations;
  • repeal the right to declare an existing lawful water use;
  • provide for additional controlled activities;
  • further regulate the governance matters of water user associations and their membership thereof;
  • provide for the transformation of water user associations; and to provide for matters connected therewith.

2022: Draft Mine Health and Safety Amendment Bill

On 29 July 2022, the Centre for Environmental Rights submitted written representations on Draft Mine and Health and Safety Amendment Bill 2022 which focused specifically on the impacts of mine blasting on mining affected communities.

2021: Gas Amendment Bill

On 30 July 2021, the CER submitted comments on the Gas Amendment Bill [B9-2021] to the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Mineral Resources and Energy. The comments were submitted on behalf of both groundWork and the Centre for Environmental Rights and are available here.

According to the brief explanatory memorandum published on 13 April 2021, the Bill seeks to amend the Gas Act 48 of 2001 and insert certain definitions; to provide for the promotion of the orderly development of the gas industry; to enhance the national regulatory framework; to promote broad-based black economic empowerment; to provide for socio- economic and environmentally sustainable development; to provide for new developments and changing technologies in the gas sector; to facilitate gas infrastructure development and investment; to provide for cooperation between the private and public sectors; to strengthen enforcement and improve compliance; and to provide for matters connected therewith.

On 19 January 2024, the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy published the Gas Amendment Bill 2023 (B – 2023) for comment. The Bill remains largely the same as the previous Bill (B9- 2021) that was withdrawn in 2022.

On 29 February 2024, the Life After Coal coalition submitted written comments on this Bill (B – 2023) to the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy.

2019: Draft Upstream Petroleum Resources Development Bill

The Draft Upstream Petroleum Resources Development Bill, 2019 was first published for comment on 24 December 2019 (Notice 1706 of 2019, Government Gazette No. 42931). An amended version (B13-2021) of the Bill dated 1 July 2021 is available here.

  • On 21 February 2020 the Centre for Environmental Rights submitted comments  on the draft Bill in the Centre’s own name and on behalf of our clients, groundWork and Earthlife Africa. Supplementary comments were lodged on 5 August 2020.
  • On 30 March 2023, the Life After Coal coalition submitted written comments on this Bill as part of the public participation process conducted by the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Mineral Resources and Energy.
  • On 30 January 2024, the Life After Coal coalition submitted written comments on this Bill as part of the public participation process for the National Council of Province’s Select Committee on Land Reform, Environment, Mineral Resources and Energy.

Our overall submission is that the Bill should not proceed in its current form, if at all. Legislation governing petroleum resources must only be put in place to ensure a just transition from fossil fuels to clean renewable energy.

2013: Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Amendment Bill

In December 2012, the Department of Mineral Resources (DMR) published the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Draft Amendment Bill for comment. The Centre for Environmental rights submitted comments on the draft bill in February 2013.

The Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Amendment Bill was introduced to Parliament in June 2013. The CER submitted comments on the Bill to the National Assembly’s Portfolio Committee on Mineral Resources in September 2013.

The Bill was passed by the National Assembly and the National Council of Provinces. However, the President did not assent to the Bill as he had some reservations about the constitutionality of the Bill. He therefore remitted the Bill back to Parliament to consider his reservations. One of his reservations was that there was inadequate public participation in the National Council of Provinces (NCOP). The NCOP therefore had to conduct public participation. The CER also submitted comments to the NCOP on the Draft Bill in March 2017.