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Werda Handel (Pty) Ltd and another v Director-General: Department of Water and Sanitation and Tshedza Mining Resources (Pty) Ltd

9 February 2017

Water Tribunal 

Preliminary decision regarding locus standi 

Date: 9 February 2017

Members: Tumai Murombo (Chairing) , Tan Makhubele SC and Maleho MD Nkomo

Legislation considered: National Water Act, 1998, National Environmental Management Act, 1998 and the Promotion of Administrate Justice Act, 2000

In a preliminary decision in this matter, the Water Tribunal held that an interested and affected party has locus standi to submit an appeal against a decision by a responsible authority to issue a water use licence if the interested and affected party timeously submitted an objection to the granting of that water use licence.

In this matter, the environmental assessment practitioner (EAP) appointed by Tshedza Mining (Pty) Ltd (Tshedza) to apply for a water use licence on its behalf failed to submit an objection by Werda Handel (Pty) Ltd and Fournel (Pty) Ltd (appellants) to the decision-maker and Tshedza. The Water Tribunal held that the EAP had a legal duty to submit “all information received during the application process to the applicant in the water use application and to the competent authority” and that the EAP in this case negelcted her duty.

 

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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