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Normandien Farms (Pty) Ltd v South African Agency for the Promotion of Petroleum and Exploration SOC Ltd and others

May 3, 2017 at 12:00 am

High Court of the Republic of South Africa, Western Cape Division, Cape Town 

Case number: 24295/2016

Date: 3 May 2017

Judge: Dlodlo J

In this matter, Normandien Farms (Pty) Ltd challenged the decisions of the South African Agency for the Promotion of Petroleum and Exploration SOC Ltd (PASA) to accept the exploration right application and scoping report submitted to it by Rhino Oil and Gas (Pty) Ltd in respect of properties in the magisterial districts of Newcastle and Dannhauser in KwaZulu-Natal. The found found that PASA did not comply with the peremptory obligations of the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act, 2002, the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Regulations, 2004 and the Environmental Impact Assessment Regulations, 2014 in the application and acceptance process. The decisions of PASA to accept an application for an exploration right and Rhino’s scoping report were therefore found to be unlawful and set aside on review.

The court also handed down an interdict prohibiting Rhino from submitting an environmental impact assessment report to PASA.

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Section 24 of 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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