Nuclear Energy Bill [B10-99]; National Nuclear Regulator Bill [B 11-99]: hearings

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Mineral Resources and Energy

22 February 1999
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Meeting Summary

A summary of this committee meeting is not yet available.

Meeting report

22 February 1999


Documents handed out:
Atomic Energy Corporation
Business South Africa
Environmental Monitoring Group
Institute for Nuclear Engineers
Namaqualand Action Group for Environmental Justice
Nuclear Fuels Corporation
South African National Civic Organisation

Chairman Duma Nkosi of the ANC welcomed all in attendance to the hearings on the Nuclear Energy Bill and the National Nuclear Regulator Bill. He explained that the hearings aimed to display the different backgrounds and viewpoints of a variety of stakeholders. After hearing and considering the different viewpoints regarding these two Bills, this committee will definitely have amendments to forward to Parliament hopefully by March.

Atomic Energy Corporation of South Africa Limited
The first organisation to present its views was the Atomic Energy Corporation of South Africa Limited. Dr KF Fouche, acting chief executive officer of AEC, presented the AEC’s comments on the Nuclear Energy Bill. First, Dr Fouche outlined the main objectives of the Bill.
1. Reformulation of governance of the AEC in an effort to increase transparency and accountability;
2. Reorganisation of the AEC mandate by placing matters of sensitive and national nature under control of the Minister;
3. Reorganisation of the Board of Directors and Management to enable restructuring in line with the "Systems Wide Review of Public Sector Science, Engineering and Technology Institutions" of the Department of Arts, Culture, Science and Technology; and
4. Separation of legislation that governs the AEC and the CNS.

Dr Fouche continued to present the practical implications of the Bill for the AEC.
Sections 34(r), (s), (t), and (u), section 45, and section 46 are all examples where the Bill requires the written authorisation of the Minister to accomplish many of the inherent, daily tasks of the AEC. Dr Fouche explained that delegation of authority is needed in these specific instances. Otherwise, the implications of this Bill will negatively impede upon the daily activities of the AEC.

Sections 13(1) and (3) affect the business functioning of the AEC by requiring prior ministerial approval for non-sensitive technology operations. Dr Fouche described the speed of the AEC’s business operations as "fast action," therefore requiring a quick turn-around approval time by the Minister. Section 13(3) deals with relationships with other countries. If the Minister must become involved with these non-sensitive technology matters, this involvement will retard speedy decision-making on new commercial development projects. Dr Fouche suggested a remedy to this situation would be for the Bill to be amended to read that non-sensitive technology not require ministerial approval based on its interference with the commercial aspect of AEC’s operations. An increase in ministerial control may severely limit the decision-making powers of the AEC Board of Directors in commercial matters. This impediment may actually discourage joint ventures with the AEC by other corporations.

The last point Dr Fouche made with regard to the practical implications of the Bill on the AEC was how under Section 9, if past liabilities need to be taken into account, the AEC will technically be insolvent. Such a classification will have a negative influence on the commercial division of the AEC.

Dr Fouche concluded his comments with the following recommendations for amendments to the Bill.
1. The delegation of power authority from the Minister to the Board of Directors on issues ranging from operational to commercial issues should be clarified;
2. The future separation of the AEC’s institutional and commercial activities as instructed within the White Paper on Energy Policy should be clarified;
3. The current auditing procedure as stipulated by the current Energy Act of 1993, instead of the proposed annual submission to the auditing general within three months of each financial year as proposed in section 26(3) of the Bill, should be retained in the Bill;
4. In terms of the assigned role of the national authority responsible for safeguards implementation, the Bill in section 33(1) needs to be brought more in line with international practice by allowing the Minister to appoint an organisation or agency in this capacity. Otherwise, the Minister would involve himself in the daily mundane tasks and would find it difficult for him to carry out these time-consuming tasks; and
5. The AEC asks in regard to its name change to the South African Nuclear Energy Corporation for the opportunity to develop an acronym name like "ESKOM" or "TELEKOM" for itself to facilitate recognition.

With regard to the National Nuclear Regulator Bill (B 11-99), Dr Fouche maintained that the AEC only had one recommendation for amendments to this Bill. He recommended that a stakeholder advisory board be established for the evaluation and commentary on the safety standard and regulatory process to encourage consistency in the industry’s daily operations.

With this presentation concluded, Chairperson Nkosi opened the floor for questions. Professor Mohamed of the ANC commented that based on past experiences, he was concerned that so much money has been pumped down into a bottomless pit within AEC but yet Dr Fouche has indicated that the delegation of powers to the Minister somehow emasculated the AEC. Could Dr Fouche comment on this. Dr Fouche responded that when he speaks of more power to the AEC Board of Directors, he was only including commercial activities and not sensitive matters. It is impossible to accomplish efficiently the commercial activities of the AEC with such close ministerial involvement.

Mr J H Nash of the ANC asked what amendments to the Bill are proposed to achieve this separation of powers between the ministry and the AEC. Dr Fouche’s response was that this aspect was not included in the Bill and at this time he has no suggestions from the AEC.

Business South Africa
Mr Roger Baxter delivered the presentation for Business South Africa (BSA). He began with a review of the historical context of the nuclear industry within South Africa starting with the 1982 Nuclear Energy Act and the 1988 amendments to that Act. The establishment of the Nuclear Regulator as a separate entity with a command and control approach created an antagonistic environment which still persists to a certain extent today.

BSA based its critique of the National Nuclear Regulator Bill in the context of the following three basic principles:
1. International standards and regulatory practice;
2. Participation, accountability, and transparency; and
3. Effective, efficient and affordable regulation.

With regard to the first principle, BSA found that the Bill is established soundly on international standards and regulatory practices, however, three areas where the Bill is not in line with international practice are:
1. The objects of the Regulator;
2. The scope of application of the concept of strict liability for nuclear damage; and
3. The definition of "nuclear accident."

With regard to the second principle, the one-way process of merely inviting comments in section 32(3) lacks the principle of transparency. Therefore, BSA recommends that the Bill be amended to include a stakeholder advisory board to advise the Minister on regulatory policy, standards, and practices. BSA also recommends that a provision for an appeal to the High Court needs to be included in the Bill to increase accountability.

With regard to the third principle, BSA had eight comments under the heading of effective, efficient and affordable regulation. Mr Baxter started by explaining that BSA is concerned that section 5(a) might be interpreted to mean "health protection at any cost" which is in conflict with the principle of sustainable development. Therefore, BSA recommends that section 5(a) be substituted with language that prevents such a misreading.

BSA supports the risk-based tiered system of nuclear authorization set forth in section 17. BSA also supports section 26 but pointed out that section 27(8) is in conflict with it because it extends strict liability to all nuclear activities. Therefore, BSA recommends that section 27(8) should be deleted, and "nuclear authorization" in section 27(9) should be replaced with "nuclear installation licence." BSA further supports section 25 that brings about a more structured, controlled and transparent process for the levying of fees for nuclear authorizations. However, BSA recommend that within the language of section 25, "authorization" should be substituted with "installation licence" and the compliance inspections under section 25(d) should be deleted.

In respect to board approvals of Certificates of Registration, BSA recommends that section 19(2) "with the approval of the board" should be deleted and section 20(3)(c) "authorization" should be substituted with "installation licence or nuclear vessel licence." BSA supports the exclusion of Group III and Group IV hazardous substances because of the Hazardous Substances Act’s jurisdiction over this matter. Additionally, BSA supports the exclusion of mining because of the Mine, Health and Safety Act’s jurisdiction over this matter. BSA also believes that section 18(4), calling for public comment from affected individuals during an application for nuclear installations, is an unnecessary duplication of requirements already in place under the Environment Conservation Act and therefore should be deleted. In addition, BSA believes that with the Regulator’s grant of approval, it should be possible to transfer a nuclear authorisation. Therefore, section 22 should be amended to allow such a transfer.

In conclusion, Mr Baxter provided three additional comments on the Bill. He explained that the definition of "nuclear accident" in Section 1 is inconsistent with international practice for the reporting of nuclear events and the definition needs amending. Second, section 27(2) should apply to nuclear incident and any other routine release of radioactive material causing nuclear damage. And last, sections 22(b) and 23 are duplicative and should be deleted entirely because such information should be in the licence or certificate of registration documents and not in the Bill.

BSA’s critique of the Nuclear Energy Bill (B 10-99) contained the following three recommendations:
1. That the Minister delegates the necessary authority to the AEC Board to make necessary commercial decisions;
2. That sufficient time should be allowed for the process of delegation of these powers; and
3. That the Bill allows for the separation of the commercial activities and the institutional responsibilities of the AEC.

After Mr Baxter’s conclusion to his presentation, Chairperson Nkosi called for questions from the committee. Professor Mohamed quoted Mr Baxter as saying that this legislation is in line with international standards and further asked Mr Baxter to cite examples of where the powers of the nuclear industry are placed in the hands of the Minister. Mr Baxter responded that Japan and the EU both vest nuclear matters in their ministers. Mr Baxter furthered explained that there is no conflict of interest between socio-economic benefits versus the safety issues when a minister handles nuclear issues.

Mr Nash asked what checks and balances are in place for the Minister’s control of the nuclear industry. Mr Baxter replied that the separation of the AEC’s commercial side from the government makes operations more transparent. AEC is then able to provide a return on investments while not using government funds. But Mr Baxter emphasized that he has no better system of checks and balances to suggest and recommends posing the same question to the AEC itself.

Professor Mohamed stated that he felt that allowing the AEC to control the commercial process of the nuclear industry is in conflict with a previous government report that requires ministerial involvement because of previous "money down an endless pit" experiences. Mr Baxter responded that the process of driving the commercial activities would be administratively difficult for the Minister to manage on a day-to-day basis. Therefore, the AEC and the Minister should drive commercial activity as a joint effort.

Mr G Oliphant of the ANC asked for concrete suggestions for the proposed stakeholder advisory board and also for a clarification of the term "radiation exposure." Mr Baxter responded that a recommendation for membership to such an advisory board would include representatives from all government departments dealing with nuclear activity. As for the second part of Mr. Oliphant’s question, Mr Baxter explained that because radon is everywhere, BSA supports a definition of exposure that provides a balance of a developmental concept.

Mr SD Nxumalo of the ANC asked who would be in charge of the approval of certificates of registration. Mr Baxter responded that the National Regulator has this duty.

Mr Oliphant requested that a concrete proposal of the make-up of the advisory board be provided to the committee by BSA to facilitate debate. Mr Baxter pointed out to the committee that such recommendations are included on page five of BSA’s hand-out today to the committee.

Environmental Monitoring Group
Mr Steven Law of the Environmental Monitoring Group (EMG) provided comments on the National Nuclear Regulator Bill. The aims of EMG is to increase public participation while moving towards achieving a sustainable environment. Mr Law critiqued the entire process through which this Bill was created. He described the process as "not entirely open." The drafting of the Bill occurred in a "closed shop" enforcing the conception in the public’s mind that the nuclear industry is secretive. Mr Law recommended to the committee that it reject the process under which the Bill was drafted and provide a an open process that builds public faith.

Mr Law explained that the Bill presents a number of contradictions in trying to achieve the aims stated in the prelude and Memorandum: transparency, accountability, and the separation of regulation from promotion. In terms of section 7(4), the Board of Directors governing the Regulator will be appointed by the same Minister responsible for promoting the development and application of things nuclear. There is no transparent process for this appointment. Section 43 exacerbates the situation because the Minister may delegate responsibilities to officials in the DME. Mr Law recommended that the process be redesigned by housing the regulatory body reporting to the Minister of Minerals and Energy within the Department of Environmental Affairs.

Regarding the issue of fragmentation, Mr Law found no valid reason why functions, expertise and infrastructure need to be duplicated across the different authorities in the Department of Health, and the Nuclear Regulator. Fragmentation should be reduced as much as possible by integrating into the powers of the Regulator, where appropriate, activities currently the responsibility of the Department of Health and the Government Mining Engineer, or responsibilities which are so envisaged in terms of this Bill. The exclusions in section 2(2) must be revised.

Regarding transparency, Mr Law emphasised that if a regulatory body is to be accepted and trusted by the public, the process of granting licences needs to be an open process. Section 46 must be reviewed so as not to conflict with access to information provisions in the Constitution.

Section 26 to section 29 outlines the liability and compensation schemes for people with nuclear exposure. Mr Law senses a potential loophole for claimants and recommends that anomalies in section 26, 27, and 28 should be removed so that claimants are not unfairly prejudiced. The window period for damage claims should be increased from 30 years to 50 years.

Mr Law concluded his presentation with a discussion on safety standards. He recommended that in terms of section 32, the Bill needs to move to international standards more appropriate for South Africa. Proposed standards must be published and comment from the public invited.

Chairperson Nkosi requested questions from the committee. Professor Mohamed complimented Mr Law on his presentation and for raising the important issue of public participation and transparency. He commented on how he is alarmed by the powers granted to the Regulator in section 7 with no oversight from this parliamentary committee. Professor Mohamed also said that he is disturbed by the lack of separation of powers, for example, how uranium matters are under the jurisdiction of the Chief Inspector of Mines.

Mr JF Van Wyk of the ANC asked for Mr Law’s reaction to Business South Africa’s contention that public debate is duplicative of the Environmental Management Act. Mr Law explained that the EMA does have a public participation provision but it is limited With regardto the nuclear industry.

Mr Van Wyk further asked for Mr Law’s comments on the proposed stakeholder advisory board. Mr Law said that he supports as much interaction between stakeholders in any industry. He pointed out though that special allowances would need to be made for those effected who do not have the appropriate technical knowledge to participate effectively. Mr Law emphasized that unsustainable decisions are made when unempowered stakeholders are not involved.

Mr Oliphant asked Mr Law to elaborate on how to involve the affected communities in the process of nuclear regulation. Mr Law replied that the primary job of the Regulator is to lead the debate on nuclear issues with the public. This open dialogue will also enhance the public’s trust of the Regulator’s office.

Mr Oliphant also asked what EMG proposed With regardto the suggestion of rejecting the process under which this Bill was drafted. Mr Law said that in terms of a new process for Bill creation, the government can not continue to pretend that previous submissions from the public never existed at the beginning of the Bill’s drafting. Mr Law suggests that key stakeholders decide what is the acceptable process.

Institute for Nuclear Engineers
Although the Institute for Nuclear Engineers (INE) was not on the agenda to comment on the Bills, a representative presented the Institute’s views to the committee next. With regard to the Nuclear Energy Bill, the INE believes that the definition of "restricted materials" is too wide. Sections 12 and 13 make no reference to "radioactive waste disposal" and this needs to be incorporated into these sections. The INE also emphasised that sections 45 and 46 need to be clearer on who does what functions in handling nuclear waste.

With regard to the National Nuclear Regulator Bill, the INE stressed that the mining industry should be included in this Bill despite the lobbying by the mining industry to be excluded. The INE further recommends that because people in the social sciences do not have the technical knowledge to administer safely the nuclear program, the term "suitably qualified" in the Bill needs to be better defined. Otherwise, the INE believes that other countries will be discouraged from doing business with South Africa because of the presence of unqualified people involved in the nuclear industry.

The INE also emphasised that under section 32, the independence of the Regulator needs to be protected and the position needs to be bound by peer review. The IAEA and the ICRP are comprised of knowledgeable experts and should be available to provide peer review when a Regulator deviates from common practice. The Bill should direct the Regulator to consult with a regulatee before taking any action affecting them.

Regarding section 34, the INE said that no municipality, nor province, alone has the capability to establish an emergency plan. Therefore, section 34 needs to be changed to encourage a joint effort of creating the emergency plans. The INE also pointed out the availability of template plans from other nations that municipalities can use.

Chairperson Nkosi thanked the INE representative for his comments and opened the floor for questions from the committee. Mr Van Wyk asked the INE for its position on EMG’s suggestions earlier in the day that the Minister of Environmental Affairs is a more appropriate place to house a nuclear regulatory body. The INE said that he does not disagree with this suggestion made by EMG.

Mr Nxumalo asked for the specific level of radiation that miners can be subjected to before considering it unsafe. The representative from the INE responded that as low as reasonably possible is the goal but he personally does not have the qualifications to answer that question.

Professor Mohamed asked for examples of where the Minister is placed in control of the nuclear industry. The INE responded that he is not aware of any examples from other countries but offered to research this issue for the committee.

Namaqualand Action Group for Environmental Justice
Ms Terry Grove and Mr Pienaar spoke on behalf of the Namaqualand Action Group for Environmental Justice. Ms Grove described the environmental degradation from mine waste occurring in their community and how Namaqualand has been earmarked for a future power station. She emphasised that the process by which the two Bills came before the committee now was too rushed with little consultation. Her community does not want to trade the future for a few jobs and other minor short-term advances. Namaqualand’s heritage is its land. Industry has already encroached upon this heritage with mines. She said that when the industries shut down, which they will, Namaqualand will be left behind in a shadow of waste. Ms Grove was also critical about Eskom’s contention that the answer to nuclear waste containment should be left to the experts.

Mr Pienaar presented further comments regarding Namaqualand’s position on the nuclear bills in Afrikaans (monitor unable to understand).

Ms Grove continued with recommendations to the National Nuclear Regulator Bill. She strongly supports an amendment to include direct representation of affected communities and workers organisations on the board of the Regulator. She also recommended that any person that has a direct business interest in regulated activities be disqualified from making decisions regarding that activity. She further recommended that South Africa’s territorial waters be ultimately closed to nuclear-driven or nuclear material carrying vessels. Ms Grove also discussed the need for specificity against international standards and current internal standards of the levels of exposure of workers, staff and the environment still deemed as non-hazardous.

Chairperson Nkosi asked the committee members for questions. Mr Oliphant asked how empowered are communities in becoming involved in the regulatory process. For example, who paid for the two presenters’ transportation from Namaqualand to Cape Town today? Ms Grove replied that they raised the funds from donations to pay for the transport today. As for empowerment, Ms Grove detailed the discouragement that her community receives from Eskom when they ask questions on numerous occasions but only receive vague replies. This kind of interaction is very disempowering to communities. Chairperson Nkosi added that upon proof of need, this committee will pay the transport to Cape Town for speakers.

Mr Nash stated that based on Ms Grove’s comments regarding Eskom’s evasive manner, they must react as a committee and ask Eskom for its plans in Namaqualand in specificity. He is encouraged that the speakers and other affected citizens have come forward to state their cases.

Chairperson Nkosi said that it goes without saying that this committee will encourage a flow of information among the stakeholders. He thanked the two speakers for travelling all morning in order to arrive this afternoon and speak to the committee. In reference to Mr Pienaar’s presentation in Afrikaans, Chairperson Nkosi also acknowledged that South Africa has eleven official languages and encouraged their uses here.

Dr Johan Botha, radiation specialist for Anglogold, explained how his company supports the new Bill in that it places the regulation of the mines under the Mine Health and Safety Act (MHSA). The activities of the gold mine do not have the same radiation risks as associated with nuclear power stations. There is no possibility that a mine can "go critical" and produce the same levels of radioactivity as a nuclear plant

Dr Botha emphasised that Anglogold is considering all health and safety risks in a holistic manner. Radiation as a health risk is being treated in the same manner as all other mining risks. Mines in the past have found it difficult to deal with two different regulators. The new Bill makes it possible to consider all aspects of health risks under the control of a single regulator under the MHSA. Dr Botha said that the independence of the National Nuclear Regulator and the Mine Health and Safety Inspectorate is ensured in the MHSA through its establishment as separate administrative agencies reporting directly to the Minister of Minerals and Energy.

Dr Botha described his view that discussion of nuclear energy in mines is driven by fear. With a tripartite approach – government, labour, and employees – no compromise should be made on the safety of workers and the public. Dr Botha concluded his remarks by stating that the NEA did not include a stakeholder committee in its design because committees comprised of various stakeholders can call for standards that are four times more stringent than international standards.

Chairperson Nkosi opened the floor for questions and Mr Nash reiterated how once again, the committee has an expert before them saying that radon does not adversely affect miners and the public. Mr Nash recounted the children that are affected by the dust blowing from the slime dams left open by mines in the Transkei that he witnessed first hand. Dr Botha responded that he agrees with Mr Nash and slime dams do pose a health threat to affected communities.

Professor Mohamed asked about the separate inspectors for the mines and gave an example from States where advisors provide the information to the decision makers. Professor Mohamed said that the industry needs a body like the National Regulator to advise mines on the acceptable exposure levels to radiation. He does not understand Dr Botha’s objection to the overall inspector. Mr JF Van Wyk of the ANC added to Mr Nash’s comments by inquiring about the dormancy effect of retired mine workers and how this factor is being considered. Mr DA Zitha of the ANC also added that he is shocked by the idea that as long as jobs are created, some life loss is acceptable. He stressed that job creation is acceptable but life must be protected as well. Mr Oliphant said that with all due respect, he does not see where Dr Botha is coming from when saying that there is no adverse effect from radon exposure. Mr Oliphant stressed that the racial picture needs balancing and more studies are needed on the effect of radon on black workers. Mr Oliphant also said that any attribution of the miners’ death on the use of tobacco and alcohol is arrogant.

Dr Botha replied that regulators need to come from a group of diverse stakeholders. A radiation forum has been created which is a body of experts discussing the impact of radiation exposure on the public. The MHSA provides the expertise necessary to ensure that the regulations are properly set forth. According to Dr Botha, cancer in the workers of the Transkei is a product of apartheid. He agrees that health care for miners after leaving the mines is needed. His comment regarding the cause of cancer in miners being attributed to tobacco use is based on the fact that tobacco is the number one cause of cancer. As for the imbalance of studies, only white studies are available from the past and that is what Anglogold has at this time. He agreed, however, that more studies need to be produced for the effect on black workers.

The Nuclear Fuels Corporation of South Africa Limited (NUFCOR)
Mr P Ward, general manager of the Nuclear Fuels Corporation of South Africa Limited (NUFCOR), expressed his concern with the commercial section of the Bill. NUFCOR is a small company but is well known internationally for supplying nuclear products to the world. It has a world-class reputation from 32 years of impeccable work. The commercial transactions of NUFCOR are governed by sections 20 to 22 of the 1993 Nuclear Energy Act. Raw materials are converted from mines into marketable products and this is always contained within regulated facilities. There is a perceived conflict of interest in the regulations regarding the impact on the transfer of materials from NUFCOR facilities to the purchasing facility. This conflict can affect, after years of building a good reputation within the international community, the international community’s desire to conduct business with NUFCOR.

Mr Ward continued to explain that the safeguard agreements in sections 33 to 35 actually are contrary to transparency by placing all this power into the single hands of the Minister. Also, this consolidation of power will create a delay in processing transfers to other facilities. At the expense of commercial activity, NUFCOR will suffer from having to wait six weeks for a book transfer because it has to go through the Minister’s office. There is currently no infrastructure in the Ministry to expedite such business transfers.

Mr Ward concluded his remarks by providing two recommendations to the committee regarding the approval process contained in the Bills. The first recommendation is to support a one-stop-shop approvals process achieved by either a concise delegation of powers and functions in section 55 or the utilisation of the DME for its expertise. The second recommendation is for the Bills to guarantee a turnaround time of two to three days for approvals for transfers.

There were no questions.

South African National Civic Organisation (SANCO)
Mr P Kute from the South African National Civic Organisation (SANCO) started his presentation with his recommendations for changes to section 7(5) of the National Nuclear Regulator Bill. He asked the committee to support disqualification of a person for director if that person is not a South African citizen and is a holder of a nuclear authorisation or an employee of the holder of a nuclear authorisation. Mr Kute next proposed that a forum for discussion on this Bill be convened by an independent person, perhaps someone from the University. This forum would support the democratic process of drafting this Bill.

Mr Kute also recommended that section 29(4) requires further consultation with all the affected parties, including the Department of Finance, in order to secure an equitable and acceptable solution. Mr Kute also said that SANCO supports a provision being incorporated into the Bill as section 36 that allows persons involved with nuclear installations to make representations to the Regulator. Mr Kute’s last recommendation to the committee was for the DME to implement the recommendations of the Leon Commission.

Mr Kute said that the MHSA does not address the claims of miners affected by radiation. The mining industry still needs to answer to the mine dust issue that Dr Botha denied in his presentation earlier. Mr Kute’s own community is taking the mining industry to court at this time over such health matters. A large portion of his community has been built on slime dumps and contaminated soil. The process of interaction that began in 1995 and 1996 has been stopped and needs to be restarted. Mr Kute proposed going back to the previous process which was all inclusive.

Chairperson Nkosi asked the committee members if there were any questions. Professor Mohamed commented that the Minister cannot control the nuclear industry and the regulators. Mr Kute responded that he was not referring to the Minister of Energy and Minerals. Chairperson Nkosi inquired about more information regarding the court case mentioned by Mr Kute, particularly who was assisting SANCO. Mr Kute responded that the Environmental Monitoring Group was involved in assisting this community.

Mr Oliphant asked for more detail on how SANCO proposes redoing the Bill drafting process. Mr Kute said that more consultation on the issues is the more appropriate path to follow. Mr Oliphant asked for a timeframe for this consultation. Mr Kute said that he had not looked at the timeframe as such, but the tendency to rush this Bill through Parliament needs to be changed.

Mr S Louw of the ANC asked how the changes proposed by SANCO are protected against violating the Constitution. Chairperson Nkosi said that this Wednesday, the State Law Advisors have slotted a two hour period to answer constitutional questions from this committee.

Chairperson Nkosi concluded the meeting for the day and thanked the committee members for their participation throughout all of the presentations. One issue discussed today is the moving of mine dumps to create space for development. There is also a large backlog of corrections left to be made. Therefore, Mr Nkosi asked the ANC study group to meet thereafter to discuss these matters.


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