14 September 2018 at 8:27 am
A spirited graduation ceremony – which included an address by former Constitutional Court Judge Bess Nkabinde – last week marked the successful close of the Centre’s second Environmental Rights & Remedies School for Activists.
The ceremony marked the end of an intensive two week period of learning in which the selected fifteen activists covered various areas of environmental law, with practical learning about how to use legal remedies available to activists, as well as general skills like presentation skills and dealing with the media, as well as fundraising for their own organisations.
Their training, which was held at Schoenstatt Centre in Constantia, also included a visit to Parliament and the Magistrates’ Court, as well as Kirstenbosch.
CER attorney Matome Kapa, says: “Our focus was to provide seasoned activists from communities affected by environmental rights violations with new tools for their activism. Our course work was designed to empower the participants to use the law to assert their rights, to encourage and enforce compliance, and to hold government and the private sector accountable for violations of environment law.
“Assigned CER attorneys will continue to provide these activists with mentorship and guidance. We look forward to working with them to strengthen their defence of Section 24 of the Constitution on behalf of their communities.”
Sekhkhune-based environmental activist Tokelo Mahlakoane (pictured), says: “We learned how to use the Constitution, the the Promotion of Access to Information Act (PAIA), about protest and many other things. The course was very useful for me as an activist, because it provided us with tools to fight for our rights.”