Department of Mineral Resources
A draft bill to govern the oil and gas sectors is under development.
The mineral resources minister, Gwede Mantashe, revealed this during an address at the annual IHS Markit Southern African Coal Conference in Cape Town.
The plan is for the draft bill to be released for comment early in the 6th parliament.
The minister also confirmed that the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Amendment Bill had been withdrawn from parliament.
The minister expressed the view that the mining sector had the potential to increase its contribution towards GDP to about 10% within the next five years.
He added that this could be achieved by the industry taking pride in itself and articulating a more positive narrative about itself, challenging the negative narrative against mining by focusing on sustainable development, investing resources in the sector and promoting research and development.
With regard to the coal sector, the minister urged the industry to “work with Government in ensuring that coal mining is undertaken in a manner that embraces climate change imperatives while also supporting emerging economies such as ourselves, who have an abundance of coal, to grow and develop”.
As regards the processing of applications for licences, the minister announced that the online licensing system was being strengthened to “address current deficiencies, because we understand that a fully functional licensing system is critical for investors, current and potential”.
Detailed statistics on health and safety will also be released in the near future reflecting an anticipated reduction in fatalities and injuries.