Mining Bill Referral Could Open Up Review

Presidential spokesperson Mac Maharaj has confirmed that President Jacob Zuma has referred legislation affecting the mining industry back to the national assembly. Maharaj has said in a statement that “After careful consideration of the bill and the submissions received, the president is of the view that the bill as it stands would not pass constitutional muster.”

Peter Leon, the head of Webber Wentzel’s mining regulatory group, has commented on the referral by President Jacob Zuma on the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act amendment bill which provides for strict beneficiation requirements set by the Minister of Mineral Resources back to the assembly.

Leon said: “Until we see the President’s reservations about the bill which would take the form of a letter to the speaker, of the national assembly Baleka Mbete, this is all conjecture.”

The substantive grounds were likely, however, to include the ministerial discretion as this “potentially offends the rule of law section of the constitution which are part of its foundational provisions”, said Leon.

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