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Gas Amendment Bill Under the Spotlight

April 14, 2021

Department of Mineral Resources and Energy

The Draft Gas Amendment Bill is heading for parliament.

The mineral resources and energy department published the draft bill’s explanatory summary in Government Gazette 44438.

The draft bill seeks to:

• amend the Gas Act and insert certain definitions;
• provide for the promotion of the orderly development of the gas industry;
• enhance the national regulatory framework;
• promote broad-based black economic empowerment;
• provide for socio-economic and environmentally sustainable development;
• provide for new developments and changing technologies in the gas sector;
• facilitate gas infrastructure development and investment;
• provide for cooperation between the private and public sectors;
• strengthen enforcement and improve compliance; and
• provide for matters connected therewith.

Speaking at the Africa Oil Week in October 2020, the mineral resources and energy minister, Gwede Mantashe, confirmed that government is re-positioning South Africa to be a serious player in the global gas market.

According to the minister, the draft bill aims to, among others, attract infrastructure investment for Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) imports; increase exploration; create domestic gas feedstock; diversify the energy mix and reduce carbon emissions.

A draft bill was published for comment in 2013.

According to the draft bill’s memorandum, it seeks to amend the act in order to address loopholes, omissions and other challenges experienced in the process of implementing and enforcing the act.

In particular, the draft bill aims to ensure inclusion of unconventional gases such as coal bed methane, landfill gas and shale gas in the act.

The proposed legislation also seeks to “address new technological advancements in the gas sector, particularly the transportation of gas by means other than a pipeline, including, but not limited to, transportation as liquefied natural gas and compressed natural gas”.

The draft bill will be tabled in parliament shortly.