JOHANNESBURG - Mineral resources minister Gwede Mantashe said on Thursday he would amend the moratorium currently in place for the oil and gas sector to allow for the processing of applications currently in the system.

The moratorium, originally put in place in June 2018, imposes a restriction on granting applications for technical co-operation permits, exploration rights and production rights until a notice of invitation for applications is published.

Mantashe told investors in Cape Town that it was important to provide an enabling environment for the sector to grow.

“We welcome the commitment by petroleum giant Total and its partners to resume its drilling operations, which affirms confidence in South Africa as an investment destination for exploration of oil and gas,” he said.

The drill rig for this project is expected on South African shores by December 5.

"Development of a separate legislation for oil and gas is currently underway, and soon there will be consultation with the industry," Mantashe said.

- African News Agency (ANA)