Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act, 2002

Last updated: 11 December 2023

The Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act of 2002 (MPRDA) came into effect in 2004 and establishes the state as the custodian of the nation’s mineral and petroleum reserves. The legislative environmental framework supporting the MPRDA creates a licensing regime allowing for mineral and petroleum exploitation subject to national priorities, regulations and standards. Reconnaissance, exploration, and production rights are only granted upon the approval of relevant environmental impact assessment and cost analysis documentation. The regulations of the MPRDA specifically require that building tailings and waste dams are to be designed with oversight functions by competent personnel.
The MPRDA includes a section on restrictions on foreign investments that ensures funds are duly regulated under the authority of the South African Reserve Bank. Specifically, this bank prohibits the issue or transfer of shares to a non-resident of South Africa without prior approval from a dealer in foreign exchange. A 2020 amendment to the MPRDA aims to extend transparency by ensuring access to information, administrative due process, and protection of property from arbitrary deprivation to foreign investors.

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