The court set aside permissions for a mining project in a protected area and remitted the application for permission for reconsideration in light of “all relevant consideration” and the following specific considerations: (1) compliance with the national administrative law statute; (2) the interests of local communities and the environmental principles of the national environmental management statute; (3) previously required authorizations must be final (i.e., after statutory appeals are resolved) before permissions may be granted; and, (4) a management plan for the protected area must be approved and the contents of said plan must be taken into consideration.
A local environmental association (“Save the Vaal Environment”) petitioned South Africa’s mining authority to comment on an application by Sasol Mining for a license to mine coal near the Vaal River, but the mining authority refused to provide such an opportunity and issued the mining license to Sasol Mining, so Save the Vaal Environment sought judicial review of the mining authority's decision. The Supreme Court of Appeal agreed with Save the Vaal Environment that the mining authority should have applied the audi alteram partem rule (or “audi-rule”) to provide an opportunity for comment.
This project has been made possible by the generous
support of the Philip Stoddard Brown and Adele Smith Brown Foundation