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The latest raft of economic data and steady chorus of pleas from business for policy certainty should focus the cabinet’s collective mind to find ways to expedite growth, investment and regulations to encourage both to address rising unemployment and social discord. Energy minister Jeff Radebe’s comment that the Mineral & Petroleum Resources Development Amendment Bill must be expedited and passed into law stand in stark contrast to that of mineral resources minister Gwede Mantashe that he and his department are of the view that it should be withdrawn. More recently, Mantashe told delegates at an Australian mining conference that the amendment bill "has been withdrawn from parliament" and that the oil, gas and petroleum elements of the act will be separated into their own act. Mining lawyers point to the potential for the amendment bill to be locked in a legal quagmire if it is promulgated, exacerbating the regulatory uncertainty bedevilling the mining sector and effectively throttli...

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