Skip to Content

Centre for Environmental Rights – Advancing Environmental Rights in South Africa

Support Us Subscribe Search

Pollution & Climate Change

Promote environmental justice, ensure compliance, and strengthen civil society participation.

groundWork and VEM’s Section 24 challenge (Deadly Air Litigation)

A key aim of the Life After Coal campaign is to reduce polluting emissions from existing coal infrastructure and encourage a coal-phase out. An essential part of this campaign is to highlight the way in which the pollution from coal and other industries is affecting the health of ordinary people, particularly those living in Mpumalanga and Gauteng.

Deadly Air

In June 2019, after many years of advocacy, groundWork and the Vukani Environmental Movement, represented by the Centre for Environmental Rights, launched Constitutional litigation to request the Court to acknowledge that the poor ambient air quality in the Highveld Priority Area constitutes a violation of the right to an environment not harmful to health or well-being, and to order the government to promulgate regulations to give effect to the Highveld Air Quality Management Plan.

The Deadly Air matter was heard on 17 and 18 May 2021 and the judgment of the High Court of South Africa, Gauteng Division (Pretoria) was delivered on 18 March 2022 in favour of groundWork and the Vukani Environmental Movement.

Court documents

Amicus Application: UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights and the Environment

High Court Judgment

Key Information