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|In recent years there has been an increased focus on corporate governance matters worldwide. The duties and responsibilities of directors of companies have come under close scrutiny, with shareholders increasing their demands for greater responsibility and accountability. Media attention and pressure groups have also had their effect. Governmental actions have supported these demands and directors have witnessed sweeping legislative changes imposing more onerous duties and liabilities than formerly imposed upon them at common law and in terms of the Companies Act. At the same time, the power of regulatory bodies has been increased to enforce this legislation and make someone pay to remedy an alleged infringement. Breach of such duties may incur personal or criminal liability, or both. Environmental protection legislation has become a particularly prevalent feature in this regard, and the number and complexity of statutes concerning the environment have increased over the past few years. Directors of South African companies will be familiar with relevant acts such as the National Environmental Management Act 107 of 1998; Conservation of Agricultural Resources Act 43 of 1983;Hazardous Substances Act 15 of 1973, as well as the National Water Act 36 of 1998. Now the directors of mining companies are faced with the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act 28 of 2002.|