Department of Mineral Resources and Energy
The minister of mineral resources and energy, Gwede Mantashe, has decided to withdraw his appeal to the Supreme Court of Appeal against an April 2018 ruling by the High Court in relation to the 2010 Mining Charter.
In a statement, the mineral resources and energy department points out that the 2010 Mining Charter was repealed and replaced by the 2018 Mining Charter.
The appeal in respect of the 2010 Mining Charter was abandoned as some of the important issues (in relation to the 2018 Mining Charter) that were before the High Court would also have been heard by the Supreme Court of Appeal (in relation to the 2010 Mining Charter).
The Minerals Council, in 2019, instituted proceedings in the High Court to take the 2018 Mining Charter on review and its review application was heard by a Full Bench in May 2020.
The Full Bench expressed concern that the “overlap may delay it in pronouncing upon all of the issues in the review of the 2018 Mining Charter”.
The department emphasized that the withdrawal of the minister’s appeal does not signify any change of position in relation to the transformative measures outlined in the Mining Charters.
“On the contrary, it paves the way to legal certainty over the current 2018 Mining Charter, which strengthens, enhances and extends the transformative measures that were previously set out in
the 2010 Mining Charter.”
Meanwhile, in another statement, the minister welcomed the arrival of the oil and gas drill rig – DeepSea Stavanger – in Cape Town.
The rig has been commissioned by Total and its partners to drill the Luiperd prospect in Block 11B/12B off the Mossel Bay coast.
According to the department, the investment by Total will further enable South Africa to diversify its energy mix by using all the primary energy resources that the country is endowed with, including gas.
“Government will be supporting this project by finalising the Upstream Petroleum Bill which aims to strike a balance between the need to attract investment into this key sector of the economy, and ensuring that oil and gas activities do not happen at the expense of the environment and water resources.”