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Centre for Environmental Rights – Advancing Environmental Rights in South Africa

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Pollution & Climate Change

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 hearing in the Deadly Air matter has been set down for 17 – 19 May 2021.

Court documents

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

Key Information

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  • 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.