Community Advocacy on Environmental and Social Justice

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Controversial Mining Bill Ratified By the National Assembly


    JUBA,  There had been a tense debate amid
    the fourth reading of the bill, some thing which is in violation of
    the business code of conduct which does not allow any debate at the
    fourth.

    “With all the observations I think we come to reading the title of
    the bill so that it is passed at its entirety. This bill is known as
    ‘The Laws of South Sudan Mining Bill 2012,’ and by this we have passed
    this bill,” ruled the speaker James Igga.

    “Congratulations Hon. Members and especially the committee concerned
    with this tedious bill. It is being an upheaval task although also it
    took a long time it did not deserve that time,” added Igga.

    The parliament is supposed to spend at least three months in passing a
    bill. But the Mining Bill has almost taken a year since it was first
    presented to the house.

    After two hours of presentation of the bill in its third reading by
    the Energy and Mining Committee Chairperson Henry Dilar Odwar, members
    passed the bill into its forth reading.

    There was a big debate on several issues in the bill midst the forth
    reading. However, because it was already in violation of the SSNA
    business code of conduct, Speaker Igga had to down play the important
    concerns.

    The bill talks of allocation of 2 per cent and 3 per cent resource
    benefit to State and community respectively from mining of any
    minerals in a particular location in the country.

    The bill has given the states legality to administer the exploitation
    of the minerals in their territories; it can give licenses to mining
    companies. In other wards it can mine the minerals in its territory.

    However, this provision is contradicting the provision of the
    Transitional Constitution which states that all mineral resources are
    the provision of the national government.

    The clause is silent as to whether the revenues accrued from the
    mining or operating companies should solely belong to the State or the
    State exploits them on behalf of the central government.

    MPs could not fix the issue, prompting the Speaker to maneuver into
    the SSNA code of conduct regulation 108 (2) which compromise some of
    the provisions of the code by giving the SSNA powers to suspend a
    motion in its forth reading.

    Hon. Kom Kom Geng from Northern Bahr el Ghazal State proposed
    suspension of the SSNA decision to pass the bill in its forth reading
    so as it is subjected to another thorough debate.

    Meanwhile Hon. David Alemi from Morobo, from Central Equatoria State
    raised a counter motion which opposed the suspension of the
    parliament’s decision from continuing with ratifying the bill in its
    forth reading.

    Alemi challenged a section of parliamentarians of not concentrating
    during secessions and want to take the house back.

    Ninety eight MPs against voted for ratification of the bill in its
    forth reading against 74 with 11 including ministers abstaining from
    the voting.

    In an exclusive interview, Hon. Henry Odwar pointed out that the
    Mining Bill is different from the Petroleum Law that was passed and
    the Petroleum Revenue Management Bill which is yet to come to the
    SSNA.

    “Basically this bill regulates how we get minerals out of the ground,
    how we relate the people who get the minerals out of the ground,”
    Odwar said.

    “The difference between the mining and petroleum bill is that, the
    petroleum act now deals with petroleum but the mining bill deals with
    all different types of minerals that give rise to various types of
    metals or the different types of alloys that are used in the
    industry,” he added.

    He further explained that the Petroleum Revenue Management bill which
    is yet to be ratified as part of laws also aimed at managing the
    country’s resources particularly oil deals with how well the oil money
    will be spent once oil flow starts.

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Hi Eroo !! Whats your Views on this ?