MPRDA Bill Under the Spotlight

Department of Energy

The Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Amendment Bill needs to be finalised for policy certainty to enable shale gas exploration and production.

The energy minister, David Mahlobo, mentioned this during closing remarks at the recent Energy Indaba in Midrand.

It was one of a number of suggestions that his department will consider.

There is also a need for a review of legislation to “harmonise the Gas Act, Ports Act and Electricity Act in relation to the permitting and licensing of gas activities across the different gas uses and gas types (natural gas, LNG, CNG and LP Gas).”

A policy and regulatory vacuum for embedded generation, in particular 1MW – 10MW projects, also needs to be addressed.

The minister also revealed that the procurement of electricity is too focused on price. There is a need to “revise the procurement to weigh more heavily on local manufacturing, job creation and participation of black entrepreneurs and communities.”

As regards nuclear power, the minister emphasised that nuclear expansion will be implemented at a “pace and scale that our country can afford.”

Legislation, including regulations, was also being reviewed with the aim to facilitate investments in the petroleum infrastructure with particular focus on refineries.

The minister also referred to the concept of an Energy Infrastructure Bank similar to the Land Bank for the agricultural sector.

“Such Energy bank may fund, pool and raise capital towards funding of energy infrastructure. This is a matter that I will take to government, the executive – Cabinet and the Minister of Finance for consideration.”

Speaking at the Indaba, president Zuma highlighted the need for South Africa to invest in new refining capacity that will benefit the region and reduce dependence on imported liquid fuels.

Sabinet Cape Town Office

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