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Ocean Ecological Adventures Pty Ltd v Minister of Environmental Affairs and others

18 April 2019

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

Case no. 6744/2018

Date: 18 April 2019

Judge: Bozalek J

This matter concerned the issuing of permits for boat-based whale and dolphin watching (BBWW) in terms of the National Environmental Management: Biodiversity Act, 2004 (NEMBA), read with the List of Marine Species that are Threatened or Protected, restricted Activities that are Prohibited and Exempted from Restriction and the Threatened or Protected Marine Species Regulations. Section 43 of the National Environmental Management Act, 1998, which deals with administrative appeals, as well as the National Appeal Regulations published under that Act, were also considered.

The Court set aside the decision of the Minister of Environmental Affairs’ decision to uphold the appeal of an appellant relating to the issuing of a BBWW permit on review (see the Promotion of Administrative Justice Act, 2000). The matter was remitted back to the Minister for reconsideration.

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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