TREASURE KAROO ACTION GROUP
MEDIA STATEMENT : ENERGY AND GOVERNMENT
For Immediate Release
March 7 2014
“MPRDA AMENDMENTS COULD BE LAST MINUTE VOTE GATHERING”
“The lack of strategic management of the oil and gas industry by the Department of Mineral Resources appears to be exacerbated by impulsive and uncoordinated direction from the executive government. While we do not support the wholesale extraction of all available minerals, we do understand the need for a controlled and structured mining industry in South Africa. Every country needs its resources developed and distributed in a responsible way and in most cases this is achieved via the private sector in concert or partnership with government. We do not support the latest proposed amendments.” This is the view of TKAG leader, Jonathan Deal referring to media reports on proposed amendments to the Minerals & Petroleum Development Act, (MPRDA). According to a Business Day report, African National Congress (ANC) MPs on Wednesday proposed that the state be entitled to take over the entire operations of any future offshore and onshore oil and gas ventures.
The idea, which was said to have ‘surprised’ DA MP James Lorimer, was contained within the proposed amendment of clauses 86A (1) and (2), which, if passed as they presently stand, would give the state, through a designated organ, a right to a 20% free carried interest on all new exploration and production rights of oil and gas. The ANC’s proposed changes to clause (2) say that in addition to the free carry interest, the state is “entitled” to further participation of up to 80%. Currently the clause imposes a ceiling on the state for an additional acquisition of 30% of the venture. According to the DA, if this proposal is adopted, it could clear the way for the State to effectively nationalise the mining industry. DA MP James Lorimer pointed out that if the amendments were voted on and adopted, the Bill could come before the National Assembly next week (March 1o-14) and then soon after at the National Council of Provinces, and practically law before the May 7 national elections.
TKAG commented that this latest move by the ANC served to highlight the confused and confusing approach of the State to addressing the management of the country’s mineral resources. Recent months have seen uncoordinated utterances by Cabinet Ministers, in conflict with Government Gazette notices and speculation on final regulations for oil and gas activities indicating a last-minute change of legislative direction.
“This activity by the ANC, appears to have left the Oil and Gas Industry reeling and other stakeholders bewildered. Stakeholders consulted by TKAG are of the opinion that much of this activity could be viewed as a ‘last-minute’ attempt by the ANC to garner votes. Whatever, the motivation, the fact is that this state of affairs clearly highlights the lack of a sensible, coordinated and transparent approach to managing South Africa’s mining affairs.”
Contact Jeanie Le Roux 072-959-1818 or Elzane Grobbelaar 021-824-2935
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