GAS GOVERNANCE: FW DE KLERK FOUNDATION
RAISES CONCERNS ON GAS AMENDMENT DRAFT BILL

Issued by the FW de Klerk Foundation 07/03/2024 

 

The FW de Klerk Foundation has submitted detailed comments on the Gas Amendment Draft Bill (“the Bill”) to the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy. The Bill wishes to make changes to the Gas Act, 2001, to provide for, amongst others, new transportation technologies, etc. However, the Foundation’s comments highlight fundamental concerns regarding the Bill’s constitutionality and its potentially adverse impact on South Africa’s socio-economic and environmental landscape.

The Foundation highlights the Bill’s risk of perpetuating inequality and a race-based society, as it fails to meet the requirements to be seen as being designed to advance those previously disadvantaged by unfair discrimination (allowed by s9(2) of the Constitution), as opposed to a law that merely unfairly discriminates against people based on race (prohibited by s9(3) of the Constitution). 

Ismail Joosub, Legal Officer of Constitutional Programmes at the Foundation, stated that, “The Bill’s provisions, most notably clause 2(e), perpetuates inequalities and undermines the foundational principle of non-racialism.” 

Furthermore, the Foundation pointed out numerous environmental concerns, such as the Bill’s alignment with the Integrated Resources Plan 2023 (“IRP”) proposal of 7.22GW of new gas capacity by 2030 and raises concerns about its compatibility with South Africa’s climate commitments, including the Paris Agreement. This contradicts the Just Energy Transition Implementation Plan, hindering climate action and the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals.

The FW de Klerk Foundation remains committed to fostering transparent and accountable governance, safeguarding constitutional principles, and promoting sustainable development in South Africa.