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Dedicated timeslots for environmental crimes in key courts

16 April 2010 at 8:40 am

The Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs, Buyelwa Sonjica,  delivered the Budget Vote speech for her two departments in the National Assembly on 15 April 2010. A copy of her speech is available here. She also delivered a separate speech on the Department of Environmental Affairs’ Budget on 16 April 2010, available here.

Both the Shadow Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs, DA MP Gareth Morgan, and the Shadow Deputy Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs, DA MP Annette Lovemore, delivered speeches to the National Assembly on the environmental affairs budget during the Budget Vote debate today. See Gareth Morgan’s speech on youtube here. On 15 April 2010, Morgan delivered an address on the water budget to Parliament. A copy of that speech is available here.

Amongst other announcements in her speech on the Department of Environmental Affairs’ budget, the Minister told Parliament that she had agreed with the Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development re-open time-slots dedicated to the processing of environmental crimes in existing courts. This project would be launched at the Johannesburg Regional Court in Gauteng on the 20th May 2010. Other pilot sites will include Durban Regional Court in KwaZulu-Natal, Nelspruit Regional Court in Mpumalanga and the Hermanus District Court in the Western Cape. The Minister stated that further roll-out to other provinces will be considered on an annual basis.

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Section 24of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996

Everyone has the right to an environment that is not harmful to their health or well-being; and to have the environment protected, for the benefit of present and future generations, through reasonable legislative and other measures that prevent pollution and ecological degradation; promote conservation; and secure ecologically sustainable development and use of natural resources while promoting justifiable economic and social development.

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Contact the National Environmental Crimes & Incidents Hotline (24 hours) or one of the national and provincial hotlines.