|The Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act 2002 (‘the Act’) received assent on 3 October 2002 and came into force on 10 October 2002.|
The Act provides for the regulation of the mineral and petroleum resources industries in South Africa. According to its preamble, the Act’s purposes include:
‘eradicating all forms of discriminatory practices in the mineral and petroleum industries’;
fulfilling ‘the State’s obligations under the Constitution to take legislative and other measures to redress the result of past racial discrimination’; and
‘recognising the need to promote local and rural development and the social upliftment of communities affected by mining’.
The Act incorporates the South African government’s policy of Black Economic Empowerment, including providing for increased participation, ownership and management of ‘historically disadvantaged South Africans’ in the minerals and petroleum industries. Measures designed to increase the participation of these groups in the extraction industries are elaborated in the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Regulations 2004 (South Africa), which was enacted pursuant to this Act.
The Act also provides the opportunity for communities to obtain preferential rights to prospect or mine an area that is registered, or to be registered, in their name (s 104).