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Mining amendment bill passed

The proposed law allows government to claim a free 20% stake in new oil, gas or mining projects.

The mineral and petroleum resources development amendment bill was passed in the National Assembly on Wednesday evening. Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Opposition parties are warning controversial new mining legislation will deter investors, stifle the emergent oil and gas industry, and open the door to corruption.

The mineral and petroleum resources development amendment bill was passed in the National Assembly in Cape Town on Wednesday.

It provides for the government to claim a free 20 percent stake in any new oil, gas or mining project.

The Democratic Alliance (DA)'s James Lorimer says the bill is a step backwards.

"This bill contains more than 30 instances where key rules will be decided by regulation.

"Regulation is decided on by the minister, it is opaque and can be changed rapidly. It provides none of the certainty that investors need and thus will put us in a worse position than we already are."

But Mineral Resources Minister Susan Shabangu says it is vital to ensure all South Africans benefit from the country's mineral wealth.

"The need to balance the interest and benefits of investors and the people of this country can neither be over emphasised nor treated as mutually exclusive."

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