Earthlife Africa wins South Africa’s first climate change case

Earthlife Africa Johannesburg declared a major victory on Wednesday after winning South Africa’s first climate change case and forcing the government to reassess the impact of a coal power plant.

The group successfully challenged a government decision to confirm the construction of a proposed coal-fired power station, arguing that the proper climate change impact assessment had not been carried out.

Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa accepted that the impact of the proposed Thabametsi power plant had not been “comprehensively assessed or considered”, but granted environmental approval anyway, according to the ruling seen by AFP.

North Gauteng High Court Judge John Murphy ordered the environmental affairs ministry to complete a climate change assessment before construction of the plant, due to be built in Limpopo, can proceed.

Earthlife Africa spokesperson Makoma Lekalakala said the ruling sent “a very strong message to government and to locals to take part in consultation before any decision takes place”.

“It is a landmark ruling that actually holds the environmental affairs department to account,” she added. – Agence France-Presse

Subscribe to the M&G

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years, and we’ve survived right from day one thanks to the support of readers who value fiercely independent journalism that is beholden to no-one. To help us continue for another 35 future years with the same proud values, please consider taking out a subscription.

Related stories


press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…

The best local and international journalism

handpicked and in your inbox every weekday