THE WRESTLE FOR ENVIRONMENTAL CONTROL OVER MINING RIGHTS: IMPLICATIONS FOR LARGE SCALE PROJECTS SUCH AS FRACKING

 

Peter Kantor

Kantor Legal Services

 

Abstract:

The year 2013 has seen a shift in what was already an uneasy status quo since the National Environmental Management Amendment Act, No. 62 of 2008, read with the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Amendment Act, No. 49 of 2008.The 2008 amendments were made in order to transfer power, in 18 months, to the Minister of Environmental Affairs and Tourism, in respect of environmental matters related to mining.This seemed, at the time, appropriate to consolidate environmental protection under a single department, Environmental Affairs, and to rectify a conflict of interest where the Minister responsible for mining, with a mandate to develop mineral resources, was also empowered to decide environmental matters related thereto.The mining Minster, however, was able to prolong the status quo by prolonging the commencement of the 18 month period. And she did. This was the uneasy status quo at the start of 2013. However, notice was finally given to end the prolonging and start the 18 month period.But this was part of another plan of the mining Minister, disclosed at the same time, in the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Amendment Bill, 2013, read with the National Environmental Management Laws First Amendment Bill, 2012.The presentation will explore the effects of these Bills, and the apparent intentions of Cabinet to keep all power for mining decisions with the mining Minister. At the same time the potential for avoiding NEMA EIA procedures altogether will be considered.

 

Presentation Topic:

THE WRESTLE FOR ENVIRONMENTAL CONTROL OVER MINING RIGHTS: IMPLICATIONS FOR LARGE SCALE PROJECTS SUCH AS FRACKING

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