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De Jure

On-line version ISSN 2225-7160
Print version ISSN 1466-3597

De Jure (Pretoria) vol.45 n.1 Pretoria  2012

 

ARTICLES

 

Nationalisation of mineral rights in South Africa

 

Nasionalisering van mineraleregte in Suid-Afrika

 

 

Johan D van der Vyver

BCom BA Hons LLD IT Cohen Professor of International Law and Human Rights, Emory University School of Law; Extraordinary Professor in the Department of Private Law, University of Pretoria

 

 


OPSOMMING

Die Wet op die Ontwikkeling van Minerale en Petroleum Hulpbronne, Wet 28 van 2002, het grondeienaars van hulle eiendomsreg ten aansien van onontginde minerale en petroleum produkte ontneem en bepaal nou dat minerale en petroleum hulpbronne "die gemeenskaplike erfenis van die hele bevolking van Suid-Afrika" is met die Staat as die bewaarder daarvan. Prospekteer- en mynregte ten aansien van "ongebruikte ou orde regte" en met betrekking tot die oorskakeling van "ou orde prospekteerregte" en "ou orde mynregte" na "nuwe orde" prospekteer en/of mynregte is onderworpe gestel aan ingrypende tydsbeperkings en veeleisende substantiewe voorwaardes wat deur die Minister van Minerale en Energie Aangeleenthede goedgekeur moet word. Terwyl die Staat in die verlede prospekteer- en mynregte gereguleer het, hoofsaaklik met die doel om veiligheid en omgewingsbewaring te bevorder, het die wetgewer nou streng vereistes gestel vir die vergunning van prospekteer en/of mynregte omdat dit eienaar geword het van minerale en petroleum hulpbronne - of as personifikasie van "die bevolking van Suid-Afrika" of as 'n openbare trustee van "die erfenis van die hele bevolking van Suid-Afrika".
Artikel 25 van die Grondwet van die Republiek van Suid-Afrika maak 'n onderskeid tussen ontneming van eiendom, wat nie die betaling van vergoeding deur die Staat vereis nie, en onteiening, waarvoor wel vergoeding betaal moet word. Dit word algemeen aanvaar dat onteiening bestaan uit ontneming plus 'n bykomstige element of bykomstige elemente. Daar is twee moontlike faktore wat 'n ontneming in onteiening kan omskep: of die verkryging van eiendomsreg ten aansien van dit wat ontneem is deur 'n ander entiteit, byvoorbeeld die Staat, öf soos wat in Artikel 25 aangedui word, deur die ontneming van die eienaar se regte in die openbare belang of vir 'n openbare doel. In hierdie artikel word geargumenteer dat die ontneming van minerale en petroleum hulpbronne onder enigeen van die twee persepsies op onteiening neerkom.


 

 

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1 28 of 2002.
2 50 of 1991.
3 S 1 MA.
4 See Minister of Minerals and Energy v Agri South Africa (Centre for Applied Legal Studies as amicus curiae) Case No 485/11 [2012] ZASCA 93 par 4 (2012-05-31) (hereafter "Agri South Africa II") (noting that "mineral rights" under earlier legislation "were held either by the owner of land or, where they had been separated from the land in respect of which the rights were exercised, the holder of a separate right," and that those rights "can for present purposes be referred to generally as mineral rights").
5 Agri South Africa II par 99, par 27.
6 Van Vuren v Registrar of Deeds 1907 TS 289 295-96; and see Agri South Africa iipar 25.
7 idem.
8 idem.
9 Agri South Africa v Minister of Mineral and Energy [2011] 3 All SA 296 (GNP) (hereafter "Agri South Africa I'); Leon, "Creeping Expropriation of Mining Investments: An African Perspective", 2009 J of Energy & Natural Resources Law 597 620-21;         [ Links ] Badenhorst & Olivier "Expropriation of 'Unused Old Order Rights' by the MPRDA: You Have Lost It!", 2012 THRHR329.
10 Agri South Africa II.
11 S 25(1) & (b) Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996 (hereafter "SA Const").
12 S 25 (1) SA Const.
13 S 25(2) SA Const.
14 S 25 (3) & (4) SA Const.
15 Fencing Act 31 of 1963.
16 Environmental Conservation Act 73 of 1989.
17 S 5 Conservation of Agricultural Resources Act 43 of 1983.
18 Harkson v Lane NO 1998 1 SA 300 (CC) par 33; see also Reflect-All 1025 CC v MEC for Public Transport, Roads and Works, Gauteng Provincial Government 2009 6 SA 391 (CC) par 63 (per Nkabinde J).
19 Reflect-All 1025 CC v MEC for Public Transport, Roads and Works, Gauteng Provincial Government 2009 6 SA 391 (CC) par 63; see also Steinberg v South Peninsula Municipality 2001 4 SA 1243 (SCA) par 4; Van der Walt Constitutional Property La w (2011) 123-25.
20 See for example The Oxford Thesaurus of Current English (1999).
21 Davies v Minister of Lands, Agriculture and Water Development 1997 1 SA 228 (ZSC) par 25 (referring to "deprivation which falls short of compulsory acquisition or expropriation"); Harkson v Lane NO1998 1 SA 300 (CC) par 31 ; First National Bank of SA Ltd t/a Wesbank v Commissioner South African Revenue Service: First National Bank of SA Ltd t/a Wesbank v Minister of Finance 2002 4 SA 768 (CC) par 57; Agri South Africa II par 14.
22 First National Bank of SA Ltd t/a Wesbank v Commissioner South African Revenue Service: First National Bank of SA Ltd t/a Wesbank v Minister of Finance 2002 4 SA 768 (CC) par 100; see also Reflect-All 1025 CC v MEC for Public Transport, Roads and Works, Gauteng Provincial Government 2009 6 SA 391 (CC) par 39.
23 Van der Walt 343-44. It should be noted that the SCA, in attributing this view to Van der Walt, misinterpreted the passages in Van der Walt to which it referred.
24 Agri South Africa II par 18.
25 Agri South Africa IIpar 24, par 18.
26 Gildenhuys Onteieningsreg (2001) 8: "Onteiening is die eensydige uitwissing deur die owerheid van die vermoënsregte van 'n person ten aansien van goed, en daarmee saam die eensydige verkryging van vermoënsregte oor daardie goed deur die owerheid of deur iemand anders." See also Badenhorst "Die Vereistes vir 'n Geldige Onteieningskennisgewing" 1989 THRHR 130 137, defining expropriation as "the extinction or limitation of a subject's right in respect of a legal object by state authority and the acquisition of a right in respect of a legal object by state authority" ("die beëindiging of beperking van 'n onderdaan se subjektiewe reg ten aansien van 'n resobjek deur die owerheid en die verkryging van 'n subjektiewe reg ten aansien van 'n regsobjek deur die owerheid").
27 Reflect-All 1025 CC v MEC for Public Transport, Roads and Works, Gauteng Provincial Government 2009 6 SA 391 (CC) par 64; see also Harkson v Lane NO 1998 1 SA 300 (CC) par 33 (referring to expropriation as the "acquisition of rights in property by a public authority").
28 Offit Farming Enterprises (Pty) Ltd v Goega Development Corporation 2010 4 SA 242 (SCA) parr 14-1 8. This statement of the law was not challenged on appeal. See Offit Farming Enterprises (Pty) Ltd v Goega Development Corporation 2011 1 SA 293 (CC).
29 Gildenhuys Onteieningsreg(2001) 8
30 Afri South Africa IIpar 24, par 16 note 21, par 1 8.
31 Lebowa Mineral Trust Beneficiaries Forum v President of the Republic of South Africa, 2002 1 BCLR 23, 27 (T).
32 Van der Walt 426.
33 Ex parte Chairperson of the Constitutional Assembly: in re Certification of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996 1996 4 SA 744 (CC) par 74.
34 S 25(4)(a) SA Const.
35 See Van der Walt 417; Badenhorst & Mostert "Artikel 3(1) en (2) van die Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act 28 van 2002: "n Herbeskouing" 2007 TSAR469 491.
36 Van der Schyff "Who 'Owns' the Country's Mineral Resources? The Possibility of incorporating the Public Trust Doctrine through the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act" 2008 TSAR 757; Van der Walt 417.
37 S 2(1) MPRDA.
38 Agri South Africa II par 86.
39 See Agri South Africa II par 81 (noting that the "right to mine" is "used throughout the judgment as the right to prospect and mine and dispose of the minerals extracted from mining").
40 Agri South Africa II par 86.
41 See Agri South Africa II par 84, par 48 (noting that "the right to mine was a right that the State asserted for itself and controlled"), par 99 (noting that "in its broad sense ... the right to mine is vested in the State and ... the State either exercises or allocates that right").
42 Agri South Africa II par 99.
43 S 2(a) MPRDA.
44 S 3(2) MPRDA.
45 Leon, "A Fork in the investor-State Road: South Africa's New Mineral Regulatory Regime Four Years On" 2008 J of World Trade 679; and see also Leon 2009 J of Energy & Natural Resources Law 597 614.
46 It 8(1) Sch II MPRDA.
47 Agri South Africa Ipar 70.
48 It 8(2) Sch II MPRDA.
49 See Leon 2009 J of Energy & Natural Resources Law 597 619-21.
50 S 23(1)(b) MPRDA.
51 S 23(1)(d) MPRDA.
52 S 23(1)(e) MPRDA.
53 S 23(1)(f) MPRDA.
54 29 of 1996.
55 Ss 23(3) & 26 MPRDA.
56 Agri South Africa I parr 71, 73, 74; see Holcum (South Africa) (Pty) Ltd v Prudent Investors (Pty) Ltd Case No 64/109 [2010] ZASCA par 23 (noting, per Hefer, JA, "The new system and the old system of common law mineral rights are mutually exclusive").
57 Agri South Africa Iparr 83, 87-88.
58 It 6(1) Sch II MPRDA.
59 It 7(1) Sch II MPRDA.
60 It 7(2)(a) Sch II MPRDA.
61 It 6(2)(d) Sch II MPRDA.
62 It 6(2)(i) Sch II MPRDA.
63 It 6(3)(d) Sch II MPRDA.
64 It 7(2) Sch II MPRDA.
65 It 7(2)(f Sch II MPRDA.
66 It 7(2)(k) Sch II MPRDA.
67 S 100(1)(b) MPRDA.
68 See Leon 2009 J of Energy & Natural Resources Law 597 619.
69 Ss 19(2)(g) & 25(2)(g) MPRDA; see the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Royalty Act 28 of 2008 and the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Royalty (Administration) Act 29 of 2008.
70 Van der Walt 407; see also Badenhorst & Mostert, "Revisiting the Transitional Arrangements of the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act 28 of 2002 in Two Parts. Part I: Nature and Content of Rights Acknowledged by the Revised Transitional Provisions" 2003 Stell LR 377 396-99; Badenhorst & Mostert Mineral and Petroleum Law of South Africa: Commentary and Statutes (2011) ch 25; Dale et alSouth African Mineral and Petroleum Law (2006) 209-212 Sch II.
71 Van der Walt 407-08.
72 Dale et al210-12; Agri South Africa iparr 75, 77.
73 Ss 19(2)(g) & 25(2)(g) MPRDA; see also Mineral and Petroleum Resources Royalty Act 28 of 2008 and the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Royalty (Administration) Act 29 of 2008.
74 S 9(2) SA Const (mandating "legislative and other measures designed to protect and advance persons, or categories of persons, disadvantaged by unfair discrimination").
75 Minister of Finance v Van Heerden2004 3 SA BCLR 229 (CC) pars 25-31.
76 Bengwenyama Minerals (Pty) Ltd v Gemorah Resources (Pty) Ltd 2011 3 BCLR 229 (CC) par 3.
77 Long title MPRDA.
78 Preamble MPRDA.
79 S 2(c) MPRDA.
80 Agri South Africa Ipar 39; see also Van der Walt 439-40.
81 It 12(1) Sch II MPRDA.
82 Par 5(1) Agreement Between the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the Government of the Republic of South Africa for the Promotion and Protection of Investments, (entered into force on 1994-09-20 ); Leon 2009 J of Energy & Natural Resources Law 597 601-02.
83 S 1 MPRDA.
84 S 2(a) MPRDA.
85 See eg GA Res 626, 7 UN GAOR Supp (No 20) 18; UN Doc A/2361 (1952); GA Res 1515, 15 UN GAOR Supp (No 16) 9; UN Doc A/4684 (1960); GA Res 1803, 17 UN GAOR Supp (No 17) 15; UN Doc A/5217 (1962); GA Res 2158, 21 UN GAOR Supp (No 16) 29; UN Doc A/6316 (1966); GA Res 3016, 27 UN GAOR Supp (No 30) 48: UN Doc A/8730 (1972); GA Res 3171, 28 UN GAOR Supp (No 30) 52; UN Doc A/9030 (1973); see also Res 88 on Permanent Sovereignty over Natural Resources of the Trade and Development Board, UN Doc A/8715, Rev 1 (1972), endorsed by the General Assembly in GA Res 3041, 27 UN GAOR Supp (No. 30) 55; UN Doc A/8730, par 16 (1972).
86 See eg ESC Res 1737, 54 UN ESCOR Supp (No 1) (1973) 1; GA Res 626, 7 UN GAOR Supp (No 20) 18; UN Doc A/2361 (1952) par 3; GA Res 1803, 17 UN GAOR Supp (No 17) 15; UN Doc A/5217 (1962) par 6; GA Res 2158, 21 UN GAOR Supp (No 16) 29; UN Doc A/6316 (1966) par 3.
87 GA Res 2288 par 2, 22 UN GAOR Supp (No 16) 48, UN Doc A/6716 (1967).
88 GA Res 2288 par 3.
89 GA Res 1314, 13 UN GAOR, Supp (No 18) 27, UN Doc A/4090 (1958).
90 See also par 2 Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and PeoplesGA Res 1514, 15 UN GAOR Supp (No 16) 66, UN Doc A/4684 (1960); Declaration on the Right to Developmentpar 1(2), GA Res 41/128, 41 UN GAOR Supp (No 53) 186, UN Doc A/41/53 (1986); see further GA Res 2288, 22 UN GAOR Supp (No.16) 48, UN Doc A/6716 (1967).
91 Art 2(1) African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights OAU Doc CAB/LEG/ 67/4/Rev 5 (27 June 1981).
92 Social and Economic Rights Action Centre (SERAC) v Nigeria (2001) AHRLR 60 (ACHPR 2001) Communication 155/96 15th Annual Report, par 56.
93 Centre for Minority Rights Development (Kenya) & Minority Rights Group international on behalf of Endorois Welfare Council v Kenya 2010 int Legal Materials858; see Beukes, "The Recognition of 'indigenous Peoples' and the Right as 'a People': An African First" 2010 SA YB of int Law 216.
94 Bengwenyama Minerals (Pty) Ltd v Gemorah Resources (Pty) Ltd 2011 3 BCLR 229 (CC).

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