Mineral Resources Minister Gwede Mantashe wants to withdraw the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Amendment Bill, which has been stuck in the National Council of Provinces for months and months. The withdrawal will be welcomed by the industry, which has been plagued by uncertainty while it has been the subject of legislative processes dating back to 2013. Mantashe told parliament’s mineral resources portfolio committee on Wednesday that his view, and that of his department, was that the bill should be withdrawn, allowing the mining industry to be governed by the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act (MPRDA) in its present form. There was nothing in the act which inhibits the sector. The particular needs of the petroleum sector — which are addressed in the amendment bill — could be dealt with in a dedicated, directly targeted legislative framework for the sector. Mantashe said this was better than trying to squeeze the petroleum sector into the MPRDA. This proposa...

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