Artikel 3(1) en (2) van die Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act 28 van 2002 : n herbeskouing

Sections 3(1) and 3(2) of the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act 28 of 2002

Badenhorst, P. J. ; Mostert, Hanri (2007-01)

AANHALING: Badenhorst, P.J. & Mostert, H. 2007. Artikel 3(1) en (2) van die Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act 28 van 2002 : 'n herbeskouing. Journal of South African Law / Tydskrif vir die Suid-Afrikaanse Reg, 2007(3):469-493.

The original publication is available at https://journals.co.za/content/journal/ju_tsar

Article

Die grondwet verplig die staat om ekologies volhoubare ontwikkeling van natuurlike hulpbronne sowel as ekonomiese en sosiale ontwikkeling te bewerkstellig. 1 Die grondwet bemagtig die staat om hierdie verpligting te vervul deur te bepaal dat die fundamentele reg tot eiendom nie so vertolk behoort te word dat dit die hervormingsoogmerke van die staat met betrekking tot grond, water en verwante hulpbronne lamlê nie. Sover dit Suid-Afrika se mineraal- en petroleumbronne aangaan, is gepoog om hierdie verpligting tot ontwikkeling en hervorming gestand te doen deur die invoer van ’n nuwe statutêre raamwerk. Op 1 Mei 2004 is die Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act 28 van 2002 (hierna die wet) van stapel gestuur. Dit is voorafgegaan deur ’n wetsontwerpfase wat tot so ’n mate gekenmerk is deur glipse, dat ’n goeie dosis skeptisisme oor die werking van die wetgewing te verstane is, selfs al word die algemene belang daarvan in ’n nuwe grondwetlike bestel nie betwyfel nie.

This contribution entails a discussion of the impact of section 3 of the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act on various aspects of the new mineral and petroleum law. At the core of the discussion is the question of how this section is interpreted by various commentators, and the implications of the different opinions on the application of the section. The initial discussion highlights problems with the new definition of a "mineral": Soil, including topsoil is at present included in die definition of a "mineral" in the act. The definition should be rectified by the legislature as it has far-reaching consequences in respect of the extent of the state's power in terms of section 3(2) of the act to grant entitlements in respect of minerals, including topsoil. The implications of section 3 for the control and management of minerals are discussed and placed in the context of the question about the constitutionality of the act. It is argued that legislative guidance is urgently needed to clarify continuing uncertainty, caused by sloppy drafting and different opinions about the connection between private law and public law in relation to minerals and the actual position of existing right holders.

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