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Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy publishes directions extending timeframes under the MPRDA for lockdown period

11 April 2020

On 11 April 2020, the Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy published mining-related Directions under the Disaster Management Act.

The purpose of these Directions is to ensure fair processes relating to licensing, consultation, appeals and compliance processes and reporting requirements during the lockdown period.

Directions relating to permissions, rights and permits as contemplated in the MPRDA

The following timeframes are extended by the number of days of the duration of the lockdown period of the national state of disaster declared for the COVID -19 pandemic:

  • Timeframes prescribed in terms of the MPRDA in relation to applications for and processing of permissions, rights, permits, which periods fall within the duration of the lockdown period of the national state of disaster;
  • Timeframes applicable to renewal of permissions, rights and permits which fall either within the duration of the lockdown period of the national state of disaster or within a period of 60 days from 27 March 2020; and
  • Timeframes relating to appeals prescribed under Regulation 74 of the Regulations promulgated under the MPRDA as amended.

An extension of a time period granted by a functionary referred to in paragraph 4.1(a) of the Directions, the period of which falls between 27 March 2020 and the termination of the lockdown period of the national state of disaster is hereby extended, or deemed to be extended, by the number of days of the duration of the lockdown period of the national state of disaster declared for the COVID -19 pandemic.

The directions also provide guidance relating to directives, notices, orders and instructions, and the submission of reports.

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Section 24of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996

Everyone has the right to an environment that is not harmful to their health or well-being; and to have the environment protected, for the benefit of present and future generations, through reasonable legislative and other measures that prevent pollution and ecological degradation; promote conservation; and secure ecologically sustainable development and use of natural resources while promoting justifiable economic and social development.

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