The South African mining industry is viewed as the locomotive of the economic
development in South Africa and has been a leading contributor to the economy for
more than a century. However, the price paid for economic growth has left South
Africa with a "mining legacy" and mining companies now face an upsurge of politically
and regulatory induced challenges. Directors of mining companies have to act with a
certain level of duty of care, skill and diligence in order for them to navigate through
these various challenges. The heightened awareness of environmental degradation
caused by mining has seen a rise in stricter mining liability legislation in South Africa,
with a specific focus on company and director liability. The result is that directors are
now faced with the possibility of personal liability when performing their executive
function. According to the business judgment rule, directors will be shielded from
liability if they acted with the necessary duty of care.
The objective of this dissertation is to examine to what extent the business judgment
rule will offer protection to a director of a mining company where the director caused
environmental damage. The analysis of this study will be conducted in the context of
the environmental damage caused by a mining company due to the decision making
and 'governance' of the mining company's director or directors.
Mini Dissertation (LLM)--University of Pretoria, 2017.