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Nanaga Property Trust represented by its trustee for the time-being v The Director-General of the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries for the Republic of South Africa and others

16 February 2016

High Court of the Republic of South Africa, Eastern Cape Division, Grahamstown 

Case No. 4689/2014

Date: 16 February 2016

Judge: Hartle J

In this matter, the High Court set aside a decision of the Department of Agriculture, Forestry (DAFF) and Fisheries to refuse a licence application for the removal of protected tree species in terms of the National Forests Act, 1998 on the grounds that the official in DAFF that took the decision did not have the authority to take that decision. The Court also held that, even if it was wrong that the relevant official did not have the authority to act, the decision itself was faulty since it constituted a slavish adherence to a general DAFF policy guideline.

Download the judgment 

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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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