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Treasure the Karoo Action Group and another v Minister of Mineral Resources and others

16 May 2018

High Court of the Republic of South Africa, Gauteng Division, Pretoria 

Case no. 95261/15

Date: 16 May 2018

Judge: EF Dippenaar AJ

In this matter, the applicants sought to have the Regulations for Petroleum Exploration and Production, 2015 (regulations), made in terms of the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act, 2002 (MPRDA), set aside on review. the applicants argued that the regulations were ultra vires the MPRDA and that they are in any event vague and are ineffective as environmental management tools.

The court rejected the applicant’s arguments. It held that the authorising provisions in the MPRDA should be read in context of the One Environmental System as a whole. It also rejected the other arguments on the basis that, in the Court’s opinion, there was no evidence on the papers that the regulations are vague or ineffective.

The matter was argued on the premise that the act of making regulations does not constitute administrative action, which was the approach followed in the matter of Stern N.O. and others v Minister of Mineral Resources.

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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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