When are statutory requirements mandatory or directory?

The failure to comply strictly with formalities and other procedural requirements imposed by a statute does not necessarily lead to invalidity. Even where the formalities required by statute are peremptory it is not every deviation from the literal prescription in the statute that is fatal. The question remains whether, in spite of the defects, the object of the statutory provision has been achieved. In the case of Pan African Mineral Development Company v Aquila Steel an application for a mining right did not strictly comply with all the requirements of the regulations. It was alleged that the application for the mining rights did not reflect the properties on which the rights were to be granted with sufficient particularity to allow the Department of Mineral Resources to identify them on its system. On the facts the court found that there was sufficient information to identify the properties even if the statute had not been strictly complied with and the applications were…

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