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SA's oil and gas industry could be the kind of game changer for the local economy that mining was, says Niall Kramer, head of the South African Oil and Gas Alliance (Saoga). But government bungling, greed (the government insisted on a 20% state-carried interest) and policy uncertainty have kept the major international players away from what are thought to be some of the best opportunities in Africa. "We have had the constipating factor of the Mineral and Petroleum Resource Development Amendment Bill," Kramer says. The bill has been stuck in a legislative quagmire since 2013, stalling the industry while other African countries, notably Mozambique, have attracted multibillion-rand investments. "The delay and uncertainty around the [bill] has been hugely damaging," Kramer says. But new ministers of energy and of mineral resources, and the government's proposed withdrawal of the bill along with a commitment to develop a separate policy framework for the oil and gas sectors has breathed ...

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