"The expropriation of mineral rights"

Posted on March 15, 2013

According to Prof van der Vyver, "in the South African common law, the owner of land was owner of everything above the land and within the land. The Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act 28 of 2002 (MPRDA) deprived landowners of their ownership of unexplored mineral and petroleum resources and proclaimed such resources to be “the common heritage of all the people of South Africa” with the state as custodian thereof „Ÿ which in effect made the state the owner of mineral and petroleum resources and vested in the state eminent domain to control prospecting and mining activities.   As the owner of unexplored minerals and petroleum resources, it now imposed stringent requirements for the conversion of “old order” into “new order” prospecting and mining rights and for the granting of new prospecting and mining rights. It is evident that the MPRDA amounted to the expropriation of mineral and petroleum resources and of existing “old order” prospecting and mining rights".   He further said that "some confusion emerged from the distinction made in Article 25 of the Constitution of South Africa, 1996 between deprivation of property, which is not subject to the payment and compensation, and expropriation of property for which compensation must be paid. The only substantive difference between deprivation and expropriation stipulated in Article 25 is that in the case of expropriation the owner is deprived of his or her rights in the public interest or for a public purpose. Since the MPRDA was enacted as part of the constitutional decree of remedial action, it is evident that it amounted to expropriation within the meaning of Article 25".

Prof van der Vyver is the author of many books and more than two hundred law review articles, popular notes, chapters in books and book reviews on a variety of subjects.

The Prestige Lecture Series of the Faculty of Law is a key highlight on the Faculty's events calendar and was initiated during 2008 when the University of Pretoria celebrated its centenary.







Fltr:  Prof Trynie Boezaart, Head of the Department of Private Law,
Prof Johan van der Vyver and Prof André Boraine, Dean of the Faculty of Law




Published by Erhardt Maritz

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