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Stern N.O. and others v Minister of Mineral Resources

17 October 2017

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

Case No. 5762/2015

Date: 17 October 2017

In this matter, the Grahamstown High Court set aside the Regulations for Petroleum Exploration and Production, 2015 published by the Minister of Mineral Resources on 3 June 2015 in terms of the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act, 2002 (MPRDA) principally because the Minister of Mineral Resources was not authorised to make the regulations. the provision of the MPRDA on which the Minister of Mineral Resources relied to make the regulations had been repealed in 2013 and therefore no longer existed.

The Court also found that the making of the regulations was procedurally unfair and that it unlawfully “amended” the One Environmental System.

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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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