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Earthlife Africa (Cape Town) v Director General Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism and Another 2005 (3) SA 156 (C) [2006] 2 All SA 44 (C)

23 August 2010

Court: Western Cape High Court
Case Number or  Citation: 7653/03
Date of judgement: 26 January 2005
Judge/s: Griesel, J.
Type of application: Administrative Review
Legislation considered: Environment Conservation Act 73 of 1989; Promotion of Administrative Justice Act 3 of 2000 (PAJA).


The Director General of DEAT had granted Eskom an authorisation to construct a nuclear reactor. Earthlife Africa applied for that decision to be reviewed and set aside under the Promotion of Administrative Justice Act (PAJA).  The court held on the issue of whether Earthlife had first exhausted its internal remedies that the matter was an “exceptional circumstance” under PAJA and that it was in the interests of justice for it to review the decision.  It further held on the merits that Earthlife was entitled to an opportunity to make submissions on the final report preceding the Director General’s decision. Because no opportunity to do so had been given the decision was held to be fatally flawed and that part of the process flawed by the irregularity was set aside.

Download this judgement here in MS Word and in PDF.

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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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