ELA Newsletter 2021-6

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19 February 2021



Animals Protection Amendment Bill, 2021 [B1-2021]

Draft Disaster Management Amendment Bill, 2021 – Gen Notice 46 in GG 44166 of 18 February 2021 – intention to introduce private member’s bill – for comment


Public Investment Corporation Amendment Act 14 of 2019 – GG 44160 of 15 February 2021 – commenced 14 February 2021


Disaster Management Act 57 of 2002 – Regulations GN R92 in GG 44158 of 13 February 2021 and GN R93 in GG 44159 of 13 February 2021 – Regulations issued in terms of s. 27 (2) of the Act published in GN R480 in GG 43258 of 29 April 2020 amended

Immigration Act 13 of 2002 – GN 96 in GG 44164 of 18 February 2021 – Draft Critical Skills List (2020) – for comment

Disaster Management Act 57 of 2002 – GN 90 in GG 44156 of 12 February 2021 – Classification of strong winds and floods due to Tropical Storm Eloise and summer seasonal rains as a national disaster

Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment Act 53 of 2003 – GN R91 in GG 44157 of 12 February 2021 – Exemption granted in terms of ss 9(6) and 10(2) to the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy for its Risk Mitigation Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme

National Health Act 61 of 2003 – GN 94 in GG 44161 of 16 February 2021 – Proposed Regulations relating to the Standards for Emergency Medical Services, 2020 – for comment


Western Cape

Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996 and Local Government: Municipal Systems Act 32 of 2000 – LAN 21088 in PG 8388 of 16 February 2021 – Oudtshoorn Local Municipality – Integrated Zoning Scheme By-law

Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996 and Local Government: Municipal Systems Act 32 of 2000 – LAN 21087 in PG 8387 of 18 February 2021 – City of Cape Town Metropolitan Municipality – City of Cape Town: Nature Reserve By-law, 2020




Shell Petroleum N.V. and The Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited v. Federal Republic of Nigeria (ICSID Case No. ARB/21/7)
Oil exploration and development – application for arbitration

T W Logistics Ltd (Appellant) v Essex County Council & another (Respondents) [2021] UKSC 4
“This case concerns the registration of land as a town and village green. The use of the phrase “town or village green” (“TVG”) conjures up a bucolic image of an area of grass where local inhabitants can walk and play. However, the land in this case is an area of concrete (the “Land”) in a working commercial port. The question for the Supreme Court is, has the Land been validly registered as a TVG?”



Kibel P Riverflow: The Right to Keep Water Instream (Cambridge University Press 2021)

UNESCO Education for sustainable development: a roadmap (Online free 2020)

Olson ER, Carlson MR, Ramanujam VMS et al “Vivid biofluorescence discovered in the nocturnal Springhare (Pedetidae)” 2021 11 Sci Rep 4125 https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-021-83588-0

Blogs, Discussions, Websites, Videos, ETC

South Africa


Daily Maverick: Esmon M-L “On the KZN south coast, a dearth of fish” 19 February 2021

Bizcommunity: “What pangolins taught us: We are all conservationists” 19 February 2021

The Independent: Dunne D “Scientists resume mass mice cull to stop endangered seabirds from being eaten alive” 17 February 2021

Climate change and energy

UCT ACCESS: Youtube channel – Conversations on Climate Change and others

Mail & Guardian: Smit S “Eskom makes proposals to protect the poor from power price hikes” 17 February 2021

Bizcommunity: “Shoprite expands solar PV project and continues its commitment to more climate friendly operations” 18 February 2021

Bizcommunity: “Electricity prices to increase by 15%” 17 February 2021

Bizcommunity: Muller D “What is it about nuclear energy that its opponents don’t want you to know?” 17 February 2021

Local government

allAfrica: Harrisberg K “South Africa: From Sewage to Oasis – Female Duo Create Johannesburg Green Corridor” 18 February 2021


Mail & Guardian: Bega S “Water reserve loses ground to coal mine” 18 February 2021

Bizcommunity: “SA needs to play catch up to benefit from green minerals trend” 17 February 2021

Water, waste, oceans and chemicals

News24: “Watch | Biodegradable plastic may not degrade as fast as you think” 20 February 2021


Mail & Guardian: Schϋtz E “Traditional healers zoom in on new ways of practice” 11 February 2021

Bizcommunity: Lopes R “Social justice and compliance – anti-corruption unpacked” 15 February 2021



Climate Home News: Farand C “DR Congo campaigners take minister to court over illegal logging rights claims” 17 February 2021

Platform for Investigative Journalism: Kabango B “Corruption Aiding Death of Forests in Malawi” 30 January 2021

Bizcommunity: Aboa A “Ivory Coast lost 47,000ha of forest to cocoa production in 2020 – environmental group” 19 February 2021

allAfrica: Murray C “Congo-Kinshasa: World’s Tropical Forests and People Imperiled By Legal Rollbacks Under Covid-19” 18 February 2021

allAfrica: “Congo-Kinshasa: DR Congo Using Covid to Exploit Environment, Indigenous Rights Threatened – Report” 18 February 2021

allAfrica: Andersen I “Africa: Making Peace With Nature Is Possible, If We Start Now” 19 February 2021

allAfrica: Mrema EM and Pulgar-Vidal M “Africa: Opinion – Everyone Is Needed in the New Global Push to Protect Nature” 18 February 2021

allAfrica: Hemp A and Hemp C “Tanzania: Increasing Land Use Could Turn Mount Kilimanjaro Into an Ecological Island” 17 February 2021

The Conversation: Omotayo AO and Aremo AO “Africa indigenous fruit trees offer major benefits. But they’re being ignored” 18 February 2021

Climate Change and Energy

allAfrica: Gasesa N “Kenya: How Devani Slipped Away From Two EACC Officials At Heathrow” 14 February 2021

Daily Maverick: Walters T “We are on the cusp of something revolutionary – Africa Europe Climate Alliance” 19 February 2021

allAfrica: Kropff M and Sanginga N “Africa: Successful Crop Innovation Is Mitigating Climate Crisis Impact in Africa” 17 February 2021

allAfrica: Okonji E “Nigeria: Mdxi to Promote Energy Efficiency, Environmental Sustainability” 19 February 2021

The Conversation: Chipango EF “Energy poverty in Zimbabwe takes many forms but policy only looks at one” 14 February 2021

Environmental enforcement

allAfrica: “Liberia: Independent Complaints Panel Finds Golden Veroleum Liable of Destroying Liberia’s Forests” 17 February 2021

Local government

Bizcommunity: “Sierra Leone: Innovative water project will improve lives of Freetown residents” 16 February 2021

Bizcommunity: Vilakazi T and Landani N “Technology and supermarket chains can help strengthen southern Africa’s food systems” 16 February 2021

allAfrica: “Nigeria: Dredgers’ Activities – Ajah Community Petitions Sanwo-Olu, Seeks Task Force Deployment” 19 February 2021

allAfrica: Kimuyu A “Kenya: Uproar as Another Project Targets City’s Majestic Jacaranda Trees” 19 February 2021

allAfrica: “Nigeria: Growing Menace of Noise Pollution” 18 February 2021


Lexology: “Spotlight: the legal framework and licensing regime for mining in Ivory Coast” 10 November 2020

Lexology: “Spotlight: the legal framework and licensing regime for mining in Guinea” 10 November 2020

Lexology: “Spotlight: the legal framework and licensing regime for mining in Democratic Republic of Congo” 10 November 2020

allAfrica: Tapfumaneyi R “Zimbabwe: Hwange Villagers, Chinese Investors in Stand-Off Over Coal Project” 9 February 2021 [Legalbrief Environmental 16 February 2021]

Bizcommunity: Harvey R “Why being endowed with oil is not always a boon: the case of Nigeria and Angola” 18 February 2021

allAfrica: Addeh E and Uzoho P “Nigeria: Shell Reports Nigeria to World Bank Panel Over Oil Spill Dispute” 15 February 2021

Extractives Baraza: “Mozambique: $24 Billion Award for LNG Project” 15 February 2021

Extractives Baraza: “Botswana: Country Names Canadian Firm As Preferred Bidder for Copper Mine” 15 February 2021

Bizcommunity: Larotonda M “Botswana must curb diamond reliance: president” 15 February 2021

Bizcommunity: Singh N “Global commodities’ position as a bull sector within a bear market represents a unique opportunity for African mining” 16 February 2021

Water, sanitation, oceans, and chemicals

allAfrica: Albani S “Kenya: Headache for Conservationists as Plastic Bag Makes Big Comeback” 9 February 2021 [Legalbrief Environmental 16 February 2021]

Bizcommunity: “Kenya’s Nzambi Matee recycles plastic to make bricks stronger than concrete” 16 February 2021

allAfrica: Lupande F “Zimbabwe: Mash Central Moves to Correct Wetlands Wrongs” 19 February 2021


IISD SDG Knowledge Hub: “African Voluntary National, Local Reviews in Focus at RFSD” 15 February 2021

Science: Kupferschimidt K “Unprotected African health workers die as rich countries buy up COVID-19 vaccines” 17 February 2021

Fin24: Du Plessis C “Construction on Inga 3 hydropower project could start by year end, ambassador says” 16 February 2021

Inhlase: “How king turns eSwatini into fiefdom” 5 February 2021

Bizcommunity:  Budoo-Scholtz A “AU Commission has made a good start on gender equality. But a lot remains to be done” 18 February 2021


Biodiversity, protected areas, and culture

IISD ENB: Convention on Biological Diversity – CBD: Informal Session for the 24th Meeting of the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice (SBSTTA-24) | 17–26 February 2021 | Online

Supchina: Obermann K “A new hope for China’s endangered animals” 17 February 2021

The Guardian: Sample I “Researchers rethink life in a cold climate after Antarctic find” 15 February 2021

Nature Podcast: Thompson B and Bundell S “A mammoth discovery: oldest DNA on record from million-year-old teeth” 17 February 2021

Science: Pennisi E “Wildlife trade imperils species, even in protected areas” 15 February 2021

Science: Allchin CM “Aquariums hatch unusual plan to save endangered zebra shark” 17 February 2021

The Independent: Makoni A “Animal part stockpiling may have been made worse by pandemic, experts warn” 20 February 2021

The Independent: Cockburn H “Rewilding: Jaguars return to Argentina’s wetlands 70 years after local extinction” 17 February 2021

The Independent: Cockburn H “Climate change 200 million years ago helped dinosaurs walk from South America to Greenland, study suggests” 17 February 2021

The Guardian: Gutiérrez P et al “How fires have spread to previously untouched parts of the world” 20 February 2021

Climate change and energy

ScopusLabs: The Federal Legislative Response to Climate Change – a tracker of new policy and legislation that is introduced in the USA

Lexology: “Washington Department of Ecology Preparing New Rule to Assess Greenhouse Gas Emissions” 17 February 2021

Lexology: “CBP rules that the Jones Act applies to offshore wind energy projects on the outer continental shelf” 16 February 2021

Lexology: “2021 Litigation Forecast – Climate change litigation: New risks for companies and directors” [New Zealand] 11 February 2021

IISD SDG Knowledge Hub: “New Climate Institute Assesses Non-state Actors’ Potential to Contribute to EU’s Climate Action” 17 February 2021 – find report here

Nature: Wagner G et al “Eight priorities for calculating the social cost of carbon” 19 February 2021

Business Council of Sustainable Energy: Sustainable Energy in America 2021: Factbook

Clean Energy Wire: Nijhuis C “Virtual meetings can replace a third of business trips, saving emissions – survey” 19 February 2021

University of Waikato: “Earth to reach temperature tipping point in 20-30 years, new study finds” 14 January 2021

Lexology: “The Carbon Tax Checklist” [USA] 12 February 2021

Lexology: “Is the “Safe Rule” as Safe as it Sounds? Developments Regarding the Fight Over Automobile Emissions Standards” [USA] 11 February 2021

Lexology: “Are Targets to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions Justiciable?” [Ireland] 16 February 2021

Thomas Reuters Foundation: Goering L “Move into government, U.N. official urges young climate activists” 9 February 2021 [Legalbrief Environmental 16 February 2021]

The Independent: Giordano C “Pollution-catching ‘super plant’ ideal for busy roads, scientists say” 18 February 2021

Environmental enforcement

Lexology: “A temporary stop to land transfers in Romania? The humble soil quality certificate” 17 February 2021

Lexology: “Grondwettelijk Hof fluit Brusselse ordonnantiegever terug: milieueffectenstudie vereist voor parking met meer dan 200 plaatsen” [Constitutional court reign in the Brussel legislator: EIA is necessary for a parking area with more than 200 parking spaces] 17 February 2021

Lexology: “New General Environmental Duty (GED) to impact businesses” [Australia] 15 February 2021

Lexology: “Tearing Down Trump’s Environmental Wall: Justice Department Ditches Impediments to Effective Enforcement” 12 February 2021

Lexology: “Post Brexit Environmental Governance” 11 February 2021

Local government

Lexology: “City of Oldsmar, Florida narrowly avoids ‘hot water’ in remote cyberattack on its infrastructure” 18 February 2021

Lexology: “New planning agreement policy blows away poor practice” [Australia] 15 February 2021

Lexology: “‘Build-to-rent’ housing controls implemented — with new rules to navigate” [Australia] 12 February 2021


Lexology: “Brazil: Brazilian government publishes the National Program for the Recovery of Contaminated Areas” 9 February 2021

The Independent: Maughan N “Planning to build a new coal mine is like investing in a new fax machine – it takes us all backwards” 17 February 2021

Mining Weekly: “These metals are soaring on a green frenzy and global recovery” 19 February 2021

Water, oceans, waste, and chemicals

Unitar: The Global E-waste Monitor 2020

Lexology: “Another lawsuit of the sort the Supreme Court was looking forward to in its Maui decision” [USA] 17 February 2021

Lexology: “Environmental Protection Agency Approves Copper Alloy for Long-Lasting Efficacy Against the Novel Coronavirus” 16 February 2021

Lexology: “Minnesota Announces “PFAS Blueprint” for Increased Regulation of “Forever” Chemicals” 12 February 2021

IISD SDG Knowledge Hub: “Minamata Convention Progress Report Highlights Actions on Mercury Management” 15 February 2021

IISD SDG Knowledge Hub: “Experts Call for New Ways to Identify and Address Chemical Issues of Concern” 15 February 2021

IISD SDG Knowledge Hub: “Regional Instruments Critical for Governing Marine Plastic Pollution: IASS Report” 17 February 2021

Nature: “Chemistry can help make plastics sustainable — but it isn’t the whole solution” 17 February 2021

The Jurist: Pyles T “What’s in Store for PFAS Regulation in 2021?” 18 February 2021

The Guardian: Carrington D “Very few of world’s rivers undamaged by humanity, study finds” 18 February 2021


Nature: Ivanova M “At 50, the UN Environment Programme must lead again” 16 February 2021

IISD ENB: UNEA: Youth Environment Assembly (YEA) | 12–20 February 2021 | Online  – see the platforms created here

IISD ENB: UNEA: UN Science-Policy-Business Forum on the Environment (2021) | 18–20 February 2021 | Virtual

IISD ENB: “5th Meeting of the Open-Ended Committee of Permanent Representatives to UNEP (Online Session) | 15–17 February 2021 | Online

IISD SDG Knowledge Hub: “Stakeholders, Governments Formulating Inputs to UNEA” 17 February 2021

IISD SDG Knowledge Hub: “Major Groups and Stakeholders Call for UNEP to ‘Build Forward Better’” 15 February 2021

Lexology: “Regulation in motion – The Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation (SFDR)” 16 February 2021

Lexology: “Make sure its fresh and clear – The HCA’s guidelines on environmental claims” [EU/Hungary] 16 February 2021

Lexology: “Updated Green Loan Principles published” [UK] 16 February 2021

Lexology: “Green finance” [UK] 16 February 2021

Lexology: “Sustainability Financing: Taxonomy Proposed for Singapore-based Financial Institutions to Identify “Green” Activities” [Singapore] 15 February 2021

IISD SDG Knowledge Hub: “No Easy Way to End Poverty Within Planetary Boundaries, But Solutions Exist” 17 February 2021

IISD SDG Knowledge Hub: “WEF Report Identifies Environmental Degradation, Climate Change Among Top Risks” 17 February 2021

Nature: Witze A “Touch down! NASA’s Mars landing sparks new era of exploration” 18 February 2021

Science: Nordling L “Give African research participants more say in genomic data, say scientists” 15 February 2021

Science: Voosen P “Ancient kauri trees capture last collapse of Earth’s magnetic field” 18 February 2021

Bizcommunity: Henrion L et al “Bendable concrete and other CO2-infused cement mixes could dramatically cut global emissions” 17 February 2021

Conferences, Workshops, Study Opportunities


ELA Streaming Club: Uniontown
Date: 25 February 2021
Time: 18:30 – 20:00 SAST
The event is free. Please join us and share widely amongst your networks. The panel discussion is inspired by the short film Uniontown, which we ask participants to view before joining the discussion. More information about the film and panel is available on the ELA’s website. www.elasa.co.za
The programme for the panel is as follows:
Moderator: Dr Melanie Murcott, University of Pretoria, Vice Chair, Environmental Law Association of South Africa
7pm – Dr Murcott, University of Pretoria – brief introduction of the ELA, the film and the speakers, as well as the issues of environmental justice arising from the film.
7:06pm – Nadia Ahmad, Barry University – USA insights on environmental justice arising from the film, including insights on the potential role of environmental justice under the Biden administration.
7:18pm – Dr Louis Snyman, Wits University – SA insights on environmental justice arising from the film, and local laws and policies that serve or undermine environmental justice.
7:30pm – Dr Desmond D’Sa, South Durban Community Environmental Alliance – South African struggles for environmental justice, any parallels with the film, and what environmental lawyers locally and in the USA can do to support.
7:45pm – Questions from and discussion with participants.
8pm – Closure and thanks.
Join Zoom Meeting https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83030290375?pwd=bG5lenpnRjNLR082VHZGcklCSHZkUT09
Meeting ID: 830 3029 0375 Passcode: 271855
More information

SANBI: 2nd National Indaba on Ecological Infrastructure
Date: 3-4 March 2021 online
Time: Day 1: 09:00-16:00; Day 2: 10:00-15:00
For more information contact Dansile Cindi

IMBEWU’s Environmental Law Update Workshop
Online course: To book, email or call us on 011 214 0660
For more information about the course consult the website.

CBSS Training Courses in Water Governance scheduled for 2021

  • 17 – 19 August 2021, in Pretoria
    • Refresher (for those who attended previous courses): 19 August 2021
    • Early Bird discount applicable until 6 July 2021
    • Registration closes 20 July 2021
    • Only TWO (2) seats still available
  • 7 – 9 September 2021, near Stellenbosch
    • Refresher (for those who attended previous courses): 9 September 2021
    • Early bird payment before 20 July 2021
    • Registration closes 3 August 2021
    • Nine (9) seats still available
  • Mpumalanga, KZN and Eastern Cape: date and venue to be confirmed, depending on interest

You can register here

EAPASA – EAP Registration Process Virtual Workshop
Date: 26 February 2021
Time: 13:00 pm – 15:00 pm
We are aware that our potential EAPs are having difficulties with the Application Process which prevents them from completing their registration with EAPASA. On the day, our capable team will gladly assist you with any queries related to the Registration Process. We encourage those that have started with their draft applications to prepare questions and send them to by 22 February 2021. All the answers to the questions will be responded to during the workshop. RSVP by 22 February 2021 or 012 880 2154

ACCESS Conversations on Climate Change:  Cryosphere and Health Impacts
Conversation 4: Trends and changes to sea ice, Greenland ice & the cryosphere in general, and what this means to us everywhere else!
Date: Monday 22 February 2021 at 16h30 (South African time)
Register for this one here
Conversation 5: Climate change’s biggest impact will be felt in human health and wellbeing – right?
Date: Tuesday 2 March 2021 at 16h00 (South African time)
Register here

Africa Energy Indaba – Solutions for Africa Virtual Conference and Exhibition
Dates: 1-5 March 2021
More information


Centre for International Law-NUS, Durham Law School and the IUCN WCEL: The Road to COP 26/CMA 3 Preparatory Lecture Series
This monthly series of lectures will provide an expert overview of the key issues that will be discussed during COP 26/CMA 3, in the context of past COPs and the UNFCCC/Paris Agreement legal framework. The lecture series is aimed at government officials, academics, NGOs and others who will be attending or are interested in COP 26/CMA 3. This series will offer expert insight into the working mechanisms and procedure of climate change COPs, how they function and what to expect from COP 26/CMA 3 from specific issues that are on the agenda.
The first lecture Daniel Bodansky (Professor of Law, Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law) on Road to Paris and Glasgow.
Date: 26 February 2021
Time: 9:00 (MST) / 16:00 (GMT) / 00:00 (SGT)
Register here.
More information here

Book Launch Francesco Sindico “International Law and Transboundary Aquifers”
You can find further information about the book at https://www.e-elgar.com/shop/gbp/catalog/product/view/_ignore_category/1/id/16729/s/international-law-and-transboundary-aquifers-9781788117623/ where you can also access the Introduction by clicking on “preview”.
Date: 24 March 2021
Time: 2 to 3 PM UK time
You can find more information about the book launch including how to register here

Yale Law School Panel Discussion: The Grande-Synthe Decision: A Conversation about National Climate Commitments, Accountability, and the Role of Courts
Date: Wednesday, 24 February 2021
Time: 12:00-1:30 PM EST
A panel discussion focusing on a landmark environmental case coming out of French State Council (the Conseil d’État) that has been hailed as a major development in climate change jurisprudence. Four of the judges of the Council will join several Yale professors in discussing the impact of the decision in this case brought by the French commune of Grande-Synthe against the French government for failing to comply with the 2015 Paris Agreement — and for leaving the city vulnerable to flooding from sea level rise. You can register for the event here.

Racism, land loss, and the creation of modern agriculture
Wednesday, March 3, 12:15 pm — 1:15 pm
Register here for the webinar link: tinyurl.com/leap2021-mitchell-sanders

Nominations for the 2021 Elisabeth Haub Award for Environmental Law and Diplomacy and Award Ceremony
The Award is conferred each year by the Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University in recognition of exceptional accomplishments in the field of environmental law and diplomacy. The deadline for receiving nominations is Monday, March 15, 2021. Further details can be found on the following webpage, along with a video recording of our October 2020 Haub Award ceremony event where we honored, in memoriam, environmental defenders who lost their lives defending their land and the environment from destructive industries: https://law.pace.edu/elisabeth-haub-award. We hope you will consider submitting nominations for the Award and sharing the call for nominations with your contacts.

Amnesty International: Town Hall: Understanding Legislating the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples with Indigenous Leaders and Thinkers
Bill C-15, federal legislation to implement the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples into Canadian law and policy will be discussed.
Date: 25 February 2021
Time: 4:00-5:30 pm PST / 6:00-7:30 pm CST / 7:00-8:30 pm EST
Registration (you can also register and listen to the recording at a later stage)

FSU Program on Environmental, Energy, and Land Use Law for our Spring 2021 Distinguished Lecture: Professor Sheila Foster Mapping the Urban Commons
Date: 24 Feb. 2021t 3:30 EST. In her lecture, , will redefine the city as an urban commons and tackle land use policies, planning hurdles, and environmental justice. All can register here.

The Hague Academy of International Law 2022: Climate Change and the Testing of International Law
Date: 22 August to 9 September 2022
Registration: 1 April 2021 to 1 September 2021
More information [heg flyer aan op ela website]




“Abalone poacher sentenced to 244 years in jail for paying officials to get his haul back” News24 16 February 2021

Makhafola G “Abalone dealer sentenced for various crimes including corruption, racketeering” News24 20 February 2021

Zuzile M “Small-scale fishing rights in Western Cape set to be scrapped, says Creecy” TimesLive 20 February 2021

Criminal: Joint sea patrol operations net poachers
Joint sea patrol operations in the Cape of Good Hope section of Table Mountain National Park (TMNP) have led to the arrest of at least 16 poachers since the start of the year. A Cape Times report notes that TMNP Marine Rangers, in partnership with the City’s Marine Law Enforcement Unit, conducted the joint sea patrol operations since January with multiple successes. On 14 January, the City said its Marine Law Enforcement officers arrested four suspects for fishing illegally at Olifantsbos in the Cape Point Nature Reserve. The poachers’ boat was also impounded. TMNP rangers arrested two suspects during the same operation. On 29 January, TMNP Rangers arrested five suspects at Slangkop Lighthouse in Kommetjie who had illegally harvested 18 abalone and four rock lobsters. On 3 February, the City’s Marine Unit officers in another joint operation with TMNP rangers, arrested four suspects with 730 lobster tails at Brightwaters in the Cape Point Nature Reserve and also impounded a ski boat. The next day, City Marine Unit officers arrested a suspect with 83 undersized abalone and 30 periwinkles in the Strand area. Full Cape Times report (subscription needed) Legalbrief Environmental 16 February 2021

Climate Change and Energy

Arnoldi M “Outa, HSF speak out against proposed procurement of new nuclear power capacity” Engineering News 8 February 2021 [Legalbrief Environmental 26 February 2021]

“There’s no risk of radiation, says nuclear regulator on Koeberg damage” The Citizen 15 February 2021 [Legalbrief Environmental 26 February 2021]

Prinsloo L and Sguazzin A “Banks, investor push to solve Eskom’s R464 billion debt crisis” fin24 20 February 2021

Majola G “Illegal fuel retail is a problem – DMRE” IOL 18 February 2021

Litigation: Nersa consent order adds R10bn to electricity tariffs
“The National Energy Regulator of SA (Nersa) has entered into a consent order to add R10bn to electricity tariffs in the coming financial year, which will push power prices more than 15% higher. Yesterday, the Gauteng High Court (Pretoria) ordered Nersa to add R10bn to Eskom’s allowable revenue to be recovered from tariff customers in the 2021/2022 financial year. A Business Day report says this comes on top of another R6bn in increases approved by the regulator for implementation in the coming financial year, which starts in April. In a statement, Nersa said this will result in an average tariff percentage increase of 15.63% in 2021/2022. The consent order follows Eskom’s application for it to be permitted to recover R23bn in the 2021/2022 financial year as per a judgment handed down in July 2020. In that order, the court found that Nersa should not have included a R69bn government bailout into its calculations when determining tariff increases for the utility. Nersa is now required to add the R69bn, broken up into three amounts of R23bn, to electricity tariffs over the coming three financial years. The regulator was granted leave to appeal against the judgment, which effectively suspended the implementation order, but prompted Eskom to approach the court for the first tranche of tariff increases to be implemented. In a statement, Nersa said the consent court order follows discussions and an agreement between itself and Eskom. Instead of R23bn, R10bn was agreed as Nersa has already taken decisions on other Eskom applications that will result in tariff increases in the 2021/2022 financial year.” Full Business Day report (subscription needed) Legalbrief 17 February 2021

Corporate: Independent grid operator by next year – Eskom CEO
“Business Day reports Eskom CEO André de Ruyter has announced that by this time in 2022, SA could have an independent grid operator in place. As Eskom works to restructure into three business units, De Ruyter said a priority focus is on the transmission business and establishing an independent system transmission operator (Ismo). ‘The establishment of this Ismo is an exceptionally important intervention in order to attract more private investment in the generation capacity that we need from private investors. That is why we have prioritised (it),’ De Ruyter said. Although the Ismo’s creation is subject to regulatory approvals, ‘if all actors in this particular ballet play their role and give us their approval as quickly as is required, then we should have the Ismo in place within the next year’, he said. The Ismo, De Ruyter said, will allow for this matchmaking between buyer and seller in a transparent way, very much like the JSE. The unbundling of the other two Eskom businesses – generation and distribution – has also continued, and although legal separation for all three is targeted for the end of 2021, they have been successfully ‘divisionalised’ and are managed and controlled by three divisional boards, each with its own MD.” Full Business Day report (subscription needed) Legalbrief Environmental 16 February 2021

Local government

“Youth urged to comment on Lanseria Smart City draft framework” SANews 18 February 2021“

Kretzmann S “Bankrupt municipality’s R735-million electricity plan” GroundUp 19 February 2021

Damane M “’Bridge for my sweetheart’ washed away” GroundUp 19 February 2021

Kretzmann S “Little Karoo municipality is falling apart” GroundUp 18 February 2021

Lali V “Community gardeners dig in against attempts to evict them” GroundUp 18 February 2021

Chirume J “Four children died after eating toxic food from this dumpsite. A year later, it has not been cleared” GroundUp 18 February 2021

Hendricks A “No water, no sanitation, no electricity, but for these families this is ‘Paradise’” GroundUp 17 February 2021

“Gauteng residents given a whiff of Mpumalanga Highveld pollution” CER 18 February 2021

“Elevated levels of sulphur dioxide and hydrogen sulphide to be probed” DEFF 17 February 2021

Litigation: Municipality claims landfill site case is flawed
“The Msunduzi Municipality has hit back at the Human Rights Commission (HRC) for bringing a ‘flawed’ High Court case against it over the state of the city’s New England landfill site. The municipality is opposing the matter and municipal manager Madoda Khathide filed an affidavit when the application came before the KZN High Court (Pietermaritzburg) this week. The Mercury reports the HRC is seeking a declaratory order to confirm that the municipality has broken environmental laws, including the National Environmental Management Act, the Water Act and the Waste Act, and has ignored repeated warning letters and compliance notices over the past 20 years. In his affidavit, Khathide said the application should be dismissed due to a lack of urgency as the HRC brought the application last November, some two months after it had obtained its information, and did not offer an explanation for the delay. He said the commission had also failed to investigate the current status of the landfill site and said the interventions undertaken superseded their complaints. Khathide added that while the municipality conceded that there ‘was a substantial deterioration of the landfill site and that there has been historical non-compliance with its operation’, since he had been appointed in April 2020 there had been improvement at the site. He said the HRC did not have the right to assume the statutory functions of the head of the KZN Department of Economic Development, Tourism & Environmental Affairs (Edtea) or the Edtea MEC, who are the second and third respondents in the case. He said the department, in terms of the law, had the ability to regulate compliance and address non-compliance. ‘It is not permissible for the court to be substituted in place of the second and third respondents to fulfil obligations and functions which it is already doing.’ The report notes the HRC has been given time to file its answering affidavit and the matter has been adjourned indefinitely.” Full report in The Mercury (subscription needed) Legalbrief 18 February 2021

Pollution: Cape Town told to clean up Diep River catchment
“Milnerton residents are celebrating the news that a directive from the Green Scorpions will finally force the City to fix the multiple sources of pollution in the Diep River and Milnerton lagoon. A Cape Argus report notes that the order was confirmed by Local Government, Environmental Affairs & Development Planning MEC Anton Bredell who said he had taken a decision to modify an existing directive issued to the City regarding the Diep River catchment following an appeal lodged by the City. ‘The modification to the existing directive includes requesting the City to submit revised incident protocols and contingency plans for the Koeberg and Sanddrift pump stations. The directive remains in effect and instructs the City to continue to implement its action plan to address the pollution and degradation concerns,’ said Bredell. Bredell said the City was implementing more than 50 interventions in ongoing efforts to improve the water quality and reduce the pollution in the catchment area and the lagoon. ‘This includes major infrastructure upgrades that are at various stages in the Diep River catchment. The largest of these is the R2.2bn Potsdam Waste Water Treatment Works Upgrade which is expected to be complete by August 2025,’ said Bredell. Milnerton Central Residents Association secretary Liete van der Eems said: ‘Should the City of Cape Town not adhere to the strict conditions set out in the directive they may be held criminally liable and will face fines up to R10m or individuals within the City may face imprisonment for up to 10 years.’” Full Cape Argus report (subscription needed) Legalbrief Environmental 16 February 2021

Waste: KZN landfill sites in a parlous state – Edtea
“A detailed report looking at the state of landfill sites in KZN has painted a grim picture of these facilities, blaming municipalities for failing to turn them into lucrative economic opportunities. According to a report in The Mercury, the Department of Economic Development, Tourism & Environmental Affairs (Edtea) said economic opportunities were being squandered that could be derived from the proper management of waste, rather than taking it to dump sites. The department made the revelations during its briefing of members of its committee on the state of landfills in the province. Msunduzi Municipality has for many years been battling to manage its New England Road landfill, with the facility catching fire on numerous occasions and releasing toxic fumes into the air. Due to the latest fire at the site, the SA Human Rights Commission announced that it was taking the municipality to court for its poor management of the landfill site. Director for Waste Management Noloyiso Walingo, who delivered the report, said that of the nine district municipalities, only two – eThekwini and King Cetshwayo – were managing their landfill sites well. Staff shortages and a lack of equipment contributed to the poor management of landfill sites. Some municipalities, the report said, had unregistered landfills and there were about 339 illegal dumps across the province.” Full report in The Mercury (subscription needed) Legalbrief Environmental 16 February 2021


Yeld J “West Coast mining magnate due in court in March on assault charges” GroundUp 16 February 2021

“Transnet prioritising capacity improvements on coal lines” IOL 20 February 2021

“Statement on environmental MEC’s decision to exclude properties from the Mabola Protected Environment to enable a new coal mine” CER 15 February 2021

Water, waste, oceans, and chemicals

Shoba S “Vaal Dam releases water after reaching 106% capacity – a first since 2017” Daily Maverick 11 February 2021

Bhengu L “Flow of raw sewage into Vaal River a violation of human rights, SAHRC rules” News24 17 February 2021

Majola N “R66-million bridge left up in the air” GroundUp 19 February 2021

Francke R-L “Recycling company Regenize wins challenge for innovation” IOL 19 February 2021

Zuzile M “Sisulu takes over Emfuleni water ops amid Vaal pollution crisis” TimesLive 20 February 2021

Gavaza M “Podcast | How AI can help SA navigate itself out of its energy crisis” BusinessLive 19 February 2021

Odendaal N “NPC outlines the National Water Security Framework” Engineering News 19 February 2021

“Water Master Plan to ensure equal provision” SANews 18 February 2021

Odendaal N “Sisulu reiterates government’s commitment to universal access to water” Engineering News 18 February 2021

“Department speeds up issuing water use licences” SANews 18 February 2021

Economy: More details on water infrastructure agency
“Legislation establishing the national water resources infrastructure agency mentioned in last week’s Sona is expected to be ready for tabling in Parliament ‘during the second half of this year’. According to Human Settlements, Water & Sanitation Minister Lindiwe Sisulu, the agency’s primary objective will be to ‘sustain and improve the performance of all strategically important water supply systems in regions where water security is at increasing risk’. In that regard, the Minister noted the importance of ensuring that the country’s ‘ageing’ infrastructure is ‘properly maintained’. Functioning ‘very much along the lines’ of the South African National Road Agency Ltd, the proposed new agency ‘will work with municipalities, water boards, financial institutions, the agricultural community and other sector institutions’ – bringing together ‘some of the sector’s strongest capabilities in a single government-owned entity’.” Read full report in Legalbrief Policy Watch Legalbrief 18 February 2021


Mthethwa A “Three more accused join Ace and others in the dock as asbestos case shifts to high court” Daily Maverick 19 February 2021

Zuzile M “Union and steel producer at war after three employees die in explosion” TimesLive 20 February 2021

“Investment in research, development declines” SANews 19 February 2021

“Comments sought on Critical Skills List” SANews 18 February 2021

“Address by Minister Barbara Creecy during debate on the State of the Nation Address (SONA)” DEFF 17 February 2021

Moatshe R “Veza Tool: Report bad cops and praise top performers” IOL 18 February 2021


Biodiversity, protected areas, animal rights, and culture

Dunne D “World must ‘transform relationship with nature’ to tackle burgeoning environmental crises, says UN” The Independent 19 February 2021

Sly E “Alligator-like fish with huge jaws and sharp teeth spotted in Singapore — 10,000 miles from its native home” The Independent 20 February 2021

“Yellow penguin sighted for ‘first time ever’ in South Atlantic” The Independent 19 February 2021

Kevany S “Calls for vets to be sent to cattle ships stranded at sea since December” The Guardian 20 February 2021

“Ferret becomes first North American endangered species to be cloned” BBC 19 February 2021

“Twycross Zoo conservation ‘halted by lack of Brexit forms’” BBC 19 February 2021

Climate change and energy

“New German carbon tax to barely dent car emissions –study” Carbon Pulse 15 February 2021

“UK court denies brokers’ £5.6 mln tax claim appeal over EU ETS fraud” Carbon Pulse 18 February 2021

“Scottish environmental regulator still cut off from comms, emissions MRV systems after hack” Carbon Pulse 18 February 2021

Lederman J “U.S. rejoins Paris climate agreement. Now comes the daunting part” News 19 February 2021

Hannam P “QBE pulls support for plan to lift Warragamba Dam wall, cuts coal exposure” Sydney Morning Herald 19 February 2021

“Genesis to bring coal-fired unit out of mothballs as lake levels fall” New Zealand Herald 15 February 2021

Brem H “India politicians and activists condemn arrest of climate activist for involvement with farmers’ protest ‘toolkit’” The Jurist 17 February 2021

Singh M “’California and Texas are warnings’: blackouts show US deeply unprepared for the climate crisis” The Guardian 19 February 2021

“’It’s cultural genocide’: inside the fight to stop a pipeline on tribal lands” The Guardian 19 February 2021

Slater D “Climate change mitigation efforts contribute to hydrogen fuel cell market growth” Mining Weekly 18 February 2021

Slater D “AfDB grants Morocco energy company $965 000 for renewables transition” Engineering News 18 February 2021

Shalal A “World Bank, IMF to consider climate change in debt reduction talks” Reuters 20 February 2021

Nijhuis C “Nord Stream 2: Twists and turns of a controversial gas pipeline” Clean Energy Wire 19 February 2021

Wettengel J “Polls reveal citizens’ support for climate action and energy transition” [Germany] Clean Energy Wire 15 February 2021

Environmental enforcement

Garcia DA “Mexico pressing ahead with GMO corn, glyphosate bans, says key official” Reuters 19 February 2021

Local government

Fallon K “Athens accused of ‘downplaying’ risks of lead contamination at Lesbos camp” The Guardian 17 February 2021

“Sahara dust chokes Senegal’s capital, disrupts fishing” Reuters 19 February 2021

“Moscow goes green: Russian capital eyes fully electric bus fleet by 2030” Reuters 19 February 2021


“Miner Rio Tinto to draw up carbon offset strategy” Carbon Pulse 18 February 2021

“’No time to waste’: California bill would ban fracking in state by 2027” The Guardian 17 February 2021

“Vale creates sustainability division” Mining Weekly 19 February 2021

Slater D “Unki mine achieves IRMA 75 rating in terms of responsible mining standard” Mining Weekly 19 February 2021

Slater D “Oriole completes desktop remote sensing study for Cameroon licences” Mining Weekly 18 February 2021

Arnoldi M “Company ventures into land restoration beyond mining research” Mining Weekly 18 February 2021

Water, waste, oceans and chemicals

Laughland O “Revealed: chemicals giant sold Louisiana plant amid fears over cost of offsetting toxic emissions” The Guardian 17 February 2021

Nijhuis C “Sea levels on German coast have risen 15-20 cm in last 100 years – researchers” Clean Energy Wire 19 February 2021


“China may ban rare earth technology exports on security concerns” Mining Weekly 19 February 2021

Vacancies, Bursaries, Funding, Opportunities, etc.


WESSA Chief Executive Officer
Closing date: 15 March 2021
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Vacancy: Environmental Assessment Practitioner : Durbanville, Cape Town
Closing Date: 15 March 2021

Vacancy: Senior Environmental Assessment Practitioner : Faerie Glen, Pretoria
Closing Date: 4 March 2021

Vacancy: Environmental Scientist : Hilton Pietermaritzburg
Closing Date: 4 March 2021

 University of Venda Department of Mercantile Law: Senior lecturer
Closing date: 19 March 2021
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Network Finance: Tax and Legislation Associate
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Candidate attorney 2022 Cape Town
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EE Candidate Attorney
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Aveng: Graduate Mining Engineer
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Aveng: Mine Planning Officer, Kathu Northern Cape
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University of KwaZulu-Natal EX03/2021 Executive Director: Student Services
Closing date:  26 March 2021
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University of KwaZulu-Natal EX01/2021 Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Research and Innovation
Closing date:  26 March 2021
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Global Lead, Carbon Finance, Conservation International – Location Flexible
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Assistant Portfolio Manager/Carbon Trader, Carbon Cap Management – London
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Policy Officer, Carbon Market Watch – Brussels
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Soil Carbon Operations Officer, AgriProve Solutions – Albury, Australia
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Intern for Climate Finance and Carbon Pricing/Markets in East Africa, GIZ – Kampala
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