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DA rejects mining law changes

The DA says proposed changes to mining legislation will destroy jobs in the sector.

The DA says proposed changes to mining legislation will destroy jobs in the sector. Picture: AFP

CAPE TOWN - The Democratic Alliance (DA) on Thursday said proposed changes to mining legislation will not help the ailing sector.

The DA said it would not support the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Amendment Bill, claiming it will destroy jobs.

Government has insisted the bill won't deter investors.

But DA member of Parliament James Lorimer said lingering uncertainty in the sector will make investors think twice.

"We believe that if the bill is not opposed and if this amendment goes through it will have a serious effect on South Africa's mining industry. We think that investment will dry up."

He said the new bill contains more than 30 instances where discretion will be left to the minister or officials.

"By bringing this legislation to Parliament they're asking us to merely give government the power to make all sorts of decisions on its own, outside of legislation. That cannot be good for the credibility of our mining regulatory regime."

Lorimer added, "They're not telling us what the law is going to do. What they're just telling is that the minister and her officials will have the discretion and what this amounts to is a blank cheque."

Public hearings on the bill are set to get underway in Parliament next month.

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