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Khanyisa Community Development Organisation & Others v Director: Development Management: Western Cape Department of Local Government, Environmental Affairs and Development and Another (5 March 2020)

12 March 2020

Case Number : 10032/17

High Court: Western Cape Division, Cape Town

Date of judgment: 5 March 2020

Judge: Gamble J

This matter involved a judicial review of an environmental authorisation granted to the Cape Winelands District Municipality for the construction of a landfill. The Applicants argued that the Municipality should have conducted a traffic impact study as part of the environmental impact assessment for the landfill and that the decision makers who issued the environmental authorisation failed to have regard to the potential trafic impacts that would result from waste being transported from local municipalities to the proposed landfill.

The applicants also focussed on the nuisance, potential danger and inconvenience to the communities living in the vicinity of the proposed landfill which was likely to result from the daily conveyance of waste from local municipalities to the site. Such nuisance included noise pollution, exhaust fumes, noxious items/substances falling off the rubbish trucks and the general inconvenience which increased traffic flow might pose to other road users, in particular an increased source of danger to pedestrians and scholars who cross the road to get to nearby schools.

The Court dismissed the application for reveiw and held that the Municipality was not legally obliged to have commissioned a traffic impact assessment as part of the environmental authorisation process because the Court found that the traffic impacts were not considered to be of significant. The Court found that that due consideration had been given to environmental justice provisions contemplated in the Constitution and NEMA.

Read the judgment here.