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Minister of Mineral Resources v Stern N.O. and others; Treasure the Karoo Action Group and another v Minister of Mineral Resources

4 July 2019

This matter concerned the legality of the Regulations for Petroleum Exploration and Production, 2015, published by the Minster of Mineral Resources (Minister) on 3 June 2015 in terms of the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act, 2002 (MPRDA). The Court Court upheld the decision of the Grahamstown High Court in the matter of Stern N.O. and others v Minister of Mineral Resources to set aside the making of those regulations on the basis that the Minister was not authorised in terms of the MPRDA to make those 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  The provision of the MPRDA on which the Minister of Mineral Resources relied to make the regulations had been repealed in 2013 and therefore no longer existed.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 upheld the appeal in the matter of Treasure the Karoo Action Group and another v Minister of Mineral Resources, in which the Pretoria High Court upheld the legality of the regulations.

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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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