Even if the Mineral & Petroleum Resources Development Act (MPRDA) Amendment Bill is passed by the national assembly to meet minister Mosebenzi Zwane’s promised end-June deadline, it is likely to be challenged in the constitutional court. This will add even more uncertainty to the mining sector. The amendments have been inching through the legal process for about six years, initially because they encountered opposition from the mining industry. The version finally agreed on, which was approved by parliament and sent to President Jacob Zuma for signing, was sent back because Zuma raised concerns about insufficient public consultation with provinces and traditional leaders, as well as the possibility that it might breach trade agreements. In the course of consultations with the provinces, the department of mineral resources is now reported to have introduced another 57 amendments. DA shadow mineral resources minister James Lorimer says most of them address concerns raised by oil and ga...

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