Economic and Social Development in the Republic of South Africa’s New Model of Mineral Rights: Balancing Private Ownership, Community Rights, and Sovereignty
The present chapter analyses the evolution of the legal regime relating to mineral ownership and management in the Republic of South Africa, introduced by the 2002 Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act as an example of the implementation of the notion of sustainable development. The introduction of the new system of state competences in the management of the mineral wealth has challenged the historical balance between the rights of varied subjects involved in the mining sector. Both mining industry investor protection and the economic development of the nation—including that of the local communities affected by mining activities—were taken into account. Also, the non-economic values of environmental protection, infrastructure protection, workers’ rights, and community participation were taken into account. The present chapter examines the rationale behind such legislative reform, and its content from the perspective of sustainable development, which, to a great extent, have been provided by extensive judicial review of the new legal regime at play.
KeywordsCommunity interests Mineral rights Property rights State sovereignty Sustainable development
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