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groundWork Trust v DG: Water and Sanitation and ACWA Power, Khanyisa Thermal Power Station (RF) Pty Ltd

27 July 2020

On 21 July 2020 the Water Tribunal upheld an appeal by groundWork of a water use licence granted to the proposed Khanyisa coal-fired independent power producer owned by ACWA.

In 2018, the Centre for Environmental Rights, on behalf of groundWork, appealed in the Water Tribunal against the Water Use Licence granted to ACWA.

On 21 July 2020 the Water Tribunal upheld groundWork’s appeal to set aside the Water Use Licence, due to lack of adequate public participation. The Water Tribunal directed ACWA to re-advertise the application and conduct the public participation by 21 September 2020.

The Tribunal also confirmed that climate change is a relevant factor to be considered in the Water Use Licence application in terms of section 27 of the National Water Act. The decision of the Water Tribunal is available here.

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Section 24of 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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