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Centre for Environmental Rights – Advancing Environmental Rights in South Africa

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Activist Support & Training


In South Africa, mining and other polluting industries are often perceived as major contributors to the South African economy and thus considered important to the economy and of national interest. However, these industries also have the most damaging impacts on people. They pollute water, air, and soil, and can disrupt farming activities and overall community life.Communities throughout South Africa struggle to defend their rights to their land, environment and resources when faced with mining in their community. Although mining companies promise jobs and development, rarely do communities reap these promised benefits.

One of the vital challenges communities face is the lack of information about their rights and the law that applies to safeguard their environment. The South African environmental legal framework and governance is complex. Many different laws apply and the framework is governed by three national government departments as well as municipal governments. As a result, affected communities often struggle to access relevant information to enforce their rights.

Communities lack access to government especially when their rights are violated. They have limited knowledge or the means to call for government assistance or ask government to hold industries and polluting companies to account. When communities succeed in raising their voices they are often met with threats and intimidation.

The Activist Support & Training project exists to turn the tide and challenge the status quo that hinders the realisation of environmental justice in South Africa through training, networking, enforcing compliance with laws and securing environmental activist spaces. 

Contact Us

  • Cape Town

    Second Floor, Springtime Studios, 1 Scott Road, Observatory, 7925 - View Map
  • Johannesburg

    2 Sherwood Road, Forest Town, Johannesburg, 2193 - View Map

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.

Report a Violation

0800 205 005

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