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16 Apr 2020
BY Lloyd Christie AND Ntsiki Adonisi-Kgame

South Africa: MPRDA related timeframes extended

The Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy recently published Coronavirus (COVID-19) related regulations pertaining to some of the prescribed timeframes in the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act, 2002 (“MPRDA”). The relevant timeframes have been extended by the operation of law by the number of days of the ultimate duration of the COVID-19 lockdown period. The extension applies to:

Applications   Applications for, and processing of, permissions, rights and permits (“MPRDA Authorisations”);
Renewals Applications for renewals of any of MPRDA Authorisations. If the deadline for renewal falls within the COVID-19 lockdown period or within a period of “60 days from 27 March 2020”, then that deadline is deemed to have been extended.
Appeals Appeals in terms of section 96 of the MPRDA, read with Regulation 74 of the MPRDA Regulations.
Directives Timeframes stipulated in any directives, notices, orders or instructions (“Directives”), except for urgent Directives aimed at preventing imminent damage or harm.
Reports 1 June 2020 is now the deadline for the submission of the first annual Mining Charter compliance report. The timeframe applicable to lodgement for any other report (such as annual reconnaissance and prospecting progress reports, monthly mining returns, exploration progress reports, etc.) contemplated in the MPRDA is extended until the ultimate end of the lockdown period.
Comments No timeframes are prescribed for applications in terms of section 11 and section 102 of the MPRDA. The COVID-19 lockdown period may see further delays in the processing of these applications.
  It is not clear whether the reference to “days” in the Regulations ought to be interpreted in accordance with the definition of days in the Interpretation Act, 1957: “When any particular number of days is prescribed for the doing of any act, or for any other purpose, the same shall be reckoned exclusively of the first and inclusively of the last day, unless the last day happens to fall on a Sunday or on any public holiday, in which case the time shall be reckoned exclusively of the first day and exclusively also of every such Sunday or public holiday”, or the much longer period contemplated in the MPRDA: “means a calendar day excluding a Saturday, Sunday or public holiday and when any particular number of days are prescribed for the performance of any act, those days must be reckoned by excluding the first and including the last day”.

For a discussion on extensions to environmental processes and laws in light of the lockdown, please click here.

Lloyd Christie
Executive | Natural Resources and Environment
lchristie@ENSafrica.com
+27 82 210 2159

Ntsiki Adonisi-Kgame
Executive | Natural Resources and Environment
nadonisikgame@ENSafrica.com
+27 82 382 7232