THE government is one step closer to consolidating its grip on the mining, oil and gas industry, after a hotly contested bill was pushed through the National Assembly by a majority ANC vote yesterday.
The Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Amendment Bill has been fiercely opposed by the DA, which has claimed it would result in “disastrous economic damage” to the country.
DA MP James Lorimer, who sought to scupper attempts to approve the bill, said the draft policy would give the state a 20% free stake in all new energy projects and permit it to effectively expropriate an additional unspecified amount at an agreed price.
It would also give the minister of mineral resources wider authority to determine regulations governing the mining, oil and gas sector.
Mineral Resources Minister Susan Shabangu said opposition parties were resisting the bill as they were representing the interests of “the white racial minority”.
The bill was passed on to the National Council of Provinces.