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Aurora directors finally to get their day in court

The oft-delayed trial of three former Aurora Empowerment Systems directors accused of polluting a key water source, will kick off with a pre-trial hearing on 25 February 2020 in the Springs Regional Court, reports Fin24.

Philippi development judgment reserved

The Western Cape High Court has reserved judgment on whether the authorities followed the correct procedures when moving Cape Town's ‘urban edge’ to allow development in Philippi, where urban farming takes place, notes a News24 report.

Philippi land battle begins today

The legal battle over the Philippi Horticultural Area (PHA) starts today in the Western Cape High Court. A Cape Argus report notes the PHA Food and Farming Campaign will be arguing for the preservation of a key piece of agricultural land in the city’s jurisdiction that is under threat from proposed developments.

Petroleum firm withdraws KZN fracking bid

AgriSA and Moolman & Pienaar Attorneys – acting for farmers in some of the major exploration applications – have welcomed a victory in the anti-fracking fight after a US-linked petroleum firm withdrew its application to explore for oil and gas on KZN farms.

SCA ruling puts temporary halt to fracking

The SCA ruled yesterday that the Minister of Mineral Resources did not have the power to make regulations for petroleum exploration and production, effectively halting the exploration of shale gas through the use of hydraulic fracturing (fracking).

Action threatened against coal mines water pollution

The Centre for Environmental Rights (CER) is considering legal action to compel the government to hold water-polluting coal miners in Mpumalanga to account.

Bank under pressure to quit hydropower project

The African Development Bank (AfDB) is under pressure from environmental lobby groups to withdraw support for the Grand Inga hydropower project in the Democratic Republic of Congo, says a Business Day report.

Farmer fined R3.5m for breaking water laws

The owner of Tierhoek Boerdery in Clanwilliam has been slapped with a R3.5m fine for unlawful water activities. A Cape Times report says the farmer was found guilty in the Clanwilliam Regional Court of 11 criminal charges – six related to water, and five to environmental transgressions.

BP guilty of environmental breaches

BP South Africa, convicted of environmental crimes in a private prosecution, and the Uzani Environmental Advocacy have been instructed by the Gauteng High Court (Johannesburg) to make representations regarding sentencing in the matter by 1 November.

Desalination firm takes Cape Town to court

The company behind the V&A Waterfront desalination plant has started legal proceedings against the City of Cape Town, following months of negotiations over contractual disputes, says a News24 report.

Activists launch landmark Highveld pollution case

In a landmark case, environmental activists have launched legal action against the government over its alleged poor progress in cleaning up air pollution in the Mpumalanga highveld. GroundWork and the Vukani Environmental Justice Movement in Action, represented by the Centre for Environmental Rights (CER), are demanding that the government clean up the air in the highly-polluted area, notes BusinessLIVE.

Greens concerned SCA has opened door to fracking

Environmental activists are concerned that an SCA judgment on Friday may pave the way for fracking across 5 500 farms, a vast tract of nearly two million hectares of arable land in northern KZN. According to a Sunday Times report, the court overturned a Western Cape High Court ruling that interdicted Texas-based Rhino Oil and Gas from moving ahead with aerial exploration on thousands of farms.

Future of Inyanda wind farm hangs in the balance

Talks this week between the national environmental authorities and the well-known Watson family of the Eastern Cape could prove crucial as to whether, and how, the family’s contentious Inyanda-Roodeplaat wind farm project is developed.

Carbon tax to be phased in

The Carbon Tax Act, which comes into effect on 1 June, will give effect to the polluter-pays principle, says a Cape Times report.

Water pollution case against Aurora directors next week

The prosecution of Aurora directors is expected to get under way at the Springs Magistrate's Court on Tuesday ‘for environmental and water transgressions at the failed Grootvlei mine near Springs in the Upper Vaal Management Area’, says the Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (Outa).

Cape Town gets court date for IPPs hearing

The City of Cape Town has welcomed the Gauteng High Court (Pretoria) setting a date to hear its petition to buy electricity directly from independent power producers (IPPs). The city wants the Energy Minister and the National Energy Regulator (Nersa) to allow it to purchase power from IPPs.

We won't let tea estates go under

The provincial government will not allow the Magwa and Majola Tea estates to be liquidated, says acting head of the Rural Development & Agrarian Reform Department Zoleka Makina. Makina said the government had sunk R116m into the business rescue process of the two projects in the past three years and had no intention of throwing in the towel now, notes a Daily Dispatch report.

Water right not unconditional

For more than a decade Free State dairy farmer Petrus Willem Terblanche battled the Minister of Water & Environmental Affairs in a test case that continued even after his death. But now, two years after his death, he has lost.

Kuils River residents' pollution concerns continue

In another blow for Kuils River residents who have been complaining about pollution from steel company Cisco, Mayor Dan Plato told them that he is referring their concerns to the national government. A report on the IoL site notes that Earl Polman, chairperson of Vredelust Ratepayers’ Association, said the City of Cape Town believed it had exhausted all options.

Minister overturns Watson wind farm authorisation

The controversial decision to grant environmental authorisation for the Watson family's massive wind farm project on the summit of the Groot Winterhoek mountains near Uitenhage has been overturned, at least temporarily.

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