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When Mines Break Environmental Laws: How to Use Criminal Prosecution to Enforce Environmental Rights

When Mines Break Environmental Laws: How to Use Criminal Prosecution to Enforce Environmental Rights

February 2014

In certain cases the negative impacts of mines and mining operations are the result of criminal activity by a mining company, its employees or subcontractors. This report provides an accessible, easy-to-use guide on the use of the criminal process as a tool to report non-compliance by mining companies with environmental and mining laws. It comes with a schedule of criminal offences potentially applicable to mining activities.

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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.