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Centre for Environmental Rights – Advancing Environmental Rights in South Africa

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Pollution & Climate Change

Broken promises: the failure of the Highveld Priority Area

The Centre for Environmental Rights has, in collaboration with groundWork and the Highveld Environmental Justice Network, conducted its own analysis to determine whether the declaration of the Highveld Priority Area (HPA) and the promulgation of the Air Quality Management Plan have improved air quality within the HPA to protect health; and if not, why not?

Our conclusions are that air quality in the HPA remains poor and out of compliance with health-based NAAQS, despite a decade having passed since the HPA was declared.

Not unexpectedly, the DEA’s own review published in February 2017 (in spite of severe limitations in the methodology) confirms that aggregate emissions have not decreased significantly – if at all – over this period, and a credible method of monitoring, tracking, and reporting air pollutant emissions in the HPA has not been developed.

More about these and other key findings in our October 2017 report.

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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.