UNITED DEMOCRATIC MOVEMENT

MEDIA RELEASE

MINERALS DEVELOPMENT BILL

STATEMENT ISSUED BY MR N RAMODIKE, MP
UDM SPOKESPERSON FOR MINERALS AND ENERGY

The UDM expresses it concern regarding the drafting of the Minerals Development Bill. We find it unacceptable that the Minister of Minerals and Energy has been granted unfettered powers.

The executive authority to grant mineral and prospecting rights should be given to an independent board, thereby stripping the Minister of this power. Furthermore, holders of existing rights should be given a guaranteed period of licence, as opposed the "use it or loose it" clause.

Holders of surface rights should also be protected thereby enforcing the aims and objectives of the bill. Specifically those aimed at protecting previously disadvantaged communities, by giving them first preference in the granting of prospecting rights.

The UDM calls upon the government to protect the constitutionally entrenched property rights of the citizens of South Africa by guaranteeing the protection of existing rights. The UDM further calls upon the portfolio committee on Minerals and Energy to urgently puts its voice behind the UDM n its call for effective, fair and proper change and progress.

Enquiries:
Mr Nelson Ramodike, MP
UDM Spokesperson for Minerals and Energy
082 973 6288

Cape Town
11 June 2001