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Ibhubesi Ore Exploration (Pty) Ltd v Department of Water and Sanitation

26 September 2018

Water Tribunal 

Case No. WT 19/05/2011

26 September 2018

Members: F Zondach, with T Murombo concurring

In this matter, Ibubesi Ore Exploration (Pty) Ltd (Ibhubesi) took the decision of the Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) to refuse its water use licence application in terms of the National Water Act, 1998.

The Tribunal found that “… it is an accepted principle that the Water Tribunal as an independent body has wide procedural and decisional powers as we noted above (para 111). The Tribunal is not confined to the consideration of the merits of the matter only, but is entitled to interrogate the nature of the administrative action to ensure that it is conducted in a manner that gives effect to the right to administrative action that is lawful, reasonable and procedurally fair.”

The Tribunal set aside the DWS’s decision on the basis that it made several procedural errors in arriving at its decision. The application was remitted the DWS with several directions.

Download the appeal decision  

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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