Legal Articles and Guides
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.
In a case described by Judge Brian Spilg, of the Gauteng High Court (Johannesburg), as ‘straightforward’ but nevertheless believed to be SA’s first successful private prosecution of environmental crime, BP Southern Africa has been found guilty of failing to fulfil its duty to protect the environment by building or upgrading a number of petrol stations without relevant authorisation.
A prominent Cape Winelands farmer has one week left to destroy two ‘illegal’ vineyards, or risk the ignominy of watching the sheriff of the court doing it for him, says a Times Select report.
City of Cape Town mayoral committee member for energy and climate change, Phindile Maxiti, says the city will petition the Gauteng High Court (Johannesburg) to allow not only Cape Town, but other municipalities to be able to purchase energy from independent power producers (IPPs).
Sasol has denied claims by a whistle-blower that the petrochemical giant is to blame for the intentional pollution of the Vaal River, reports News24. The whistle-blower, also an official at the company, submitted that vanadium and potassium carbonate were among some of the dangerous chemicals Sasol continued to spill into the river.
The SANDF is unable to continue its clean-up work of the Sebokeng wastewater treatment plant and sources of sewage pollution in the Vaal River until R873m has been released by the Treasury, according to environmental non-profit organisation Save the Vaal Environment (SAVE).
Business owners, environmental activists, farmers and rural dwellers have resoundingly rejected a proposal to explore for oil and gas in the Drakensberg, fearing it could lead to environmentally hazardous fracking activity across swathes of prime land in KZN and the Free State, says a report in The Mercury.
Tensions between the Amadiba Crisis Committee (ACC) and Minister of Mineral Resources Gwede Mantashe escalated again yesterday after Mantashe announced he would be making a third attempt to visit the volatile Xolobeni community in the Eastern Cape next week, according to a report in The Citizen.
The owner of an illegally constructed R3m west coast beach house has been fined R175 000 by the provincial environmental authority – and may still be ordered to demolish it completely and rehabilitate the site. A BusinessLIVE report notes the fine has to be paid before the Western Cape’s Department of Environmental Affairs and Development Planning will process the owner's application for condonation of the illegal construction.
Directors of the Australian-owned Mintails could face charges after a parliamentary investigation found that the company is R460m short on the money it owes to clean up the environment at its mining operations near Krugersdorp, says a Business Day report. Sparked by an Oxpeckers investigation into Mintails’ failing 1 715ha gold surface re-treatment operation, Parliament’s Committee on Mineral Resources launched its own inquiry, uncovering illegal activities and lax oversight by the company and the Department of Mineral Resources.
Environmental justice activists, including the Global Environmental Trust, have failed in a bid to close down an anthracite mine next to the Hluhluwe-Imfolozi nature reserve in northern KZN. According to a TimesLIVE report, KZN High Court (Pietermaritzburg) Judge Rishi Seegobin ruled that the company, Tendele Coal Mining, was acting lawfully and that the applicants had simply failed to make any case for an interdict shutting down the mine.
A Limpopo man who faces a string of criminal charges together with alleged rhino horn kingpin Dawie Groenewald, has been fined R100 000 in a separate matter. Nardus Rossouw, a professional hunter who was charged along with Groenewald's Musina Mafia in 2010, appeared in the Mokopane Regional Court after spending the past year in police custody for illegally trafficking rhino horns without permits.
Landfill company Interwaste has been ordered to close its FG landfill site near the Midstream Estate in Gauteng within 10 days and to rehabilitate the area, Beeld reports. The Ministry of Environmental Affairs issued this directive after the JSE listed company challenged a similar directive from the Green Scorpions on 10 February.
China appeared to backtrack on a controversial decision to lift a ban on trading tiger bones and rhinoceros horns, saying it has been postponed, state media has reported. The State Council, China's cabinet, unexpectedly announced last month that it would allow the sale of rhino and tiger products under 'special circumstances', a move conservationists likened to signing a death warrant for the endangered species.
The Constitutional Court ruled yesterday that a platinum miner that has a deal with a tribal chief could not evict a group of black farmers, in a decision a Polity report suggests could curtail the power of traditional leaders. At issue was a deal agreed with the council of the Bakgatla tribe to allow Pilanesberg Platinum Mines (PPM), a unit of unlisted Sedibelo Platinum Mines, to evict farmers to expand its open-pit mine.