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Quantum Leap Investments (Pty) Ltd and another v Minister of Water and Sanitation and others

20 December 2017

High Court of the Republic of South Africa, Gauteng Division, Pretoria (functioning as Mpumalanga Circuit Court, Middelburg)

Case no. 391/2017

Date: 20 December 2017

Judge: Legodi JP

This matter concerned the legality of a failure by the Minister of Water and Sanitation to suspend the operation of a directive issued to the applicants by the Department of Water and Sanitation in terms of section 53 of the National Water Act, 1998 (NWA) pending the outcome of an internal appeal against that directive to the Water Tribunal.

The applicants argued that section 148(2) of the NWA, which provides that a directive is not suspended pending the outcome of an internal appeal to the Water Tribunal, is unconstitutional for being at odds with sections 25, 33 and 34 of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996.

The Court found that section 148(2) of the NWA does not offend any of the rights referenced by the applicants and therefore dismissed the application.

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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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