ELA Newsletter 2021-8

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5 March 2021



Disaster Management Act 57 of 2002 – Directions:

  • GN 158 in GG 44208 of 1 March 2021 – Directions on measures to address, prevent and combat the spread of COVID-19 in the air services for adjusted alert level 3 published in GN 63 in GG 44124 of 29 January 2021 amended
  • GN R167 in GG 44222 of 3 March 2021 – Direction Providing COVID-19 TERS Benefits for Certain Categories of Employees published with effect from 16 October 2020 until 15 March 2021


Disaster Management Act 57 of 2002 – GN R151 in GG 44201 of 28 February 2021 –

Determination of Alert Level 1 published and GN R1424 in GG 44045 of 29 December 2020 withdrawn

Disaster Management Act 57 of 2002 – GN R152 in GG 44201 of 28 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

Statistics South Africa – Gen Notice 76 in GG 44191 of 26 February 2021 – Consumer Price Index, Rate (Base Dec 2017 = 100): January 2021: 3.2

Petroleum Products Act 120 of 1977 – GN R161 in GG 44214 of 2 March 2021 – Regulations in respect of petroleum products published and GN R70 in GG 44131 of 2 February 2021 substituted with effect from 3 March 2021

Petroleum Products Act 120 of 1977 – GN R162 in GG 44214 of 2 March – Regulations in respect of the maximum retail price of Liquefied Petroleum Gas supplied to residential customers published with effect from 3 March 2021

Petroleum Products Act 120 of 1977 – GN R163 in GG 44214 of 2 March 2021 – Regulations in respect of the single maximum national retail price for illuminating paraffin published with effect from 3 March 2021 2021

Agricultural Pests Act 36 of 1983 – GN 121 in GG 44188 of 12 February 2021 and GN R176 in GG 44230 of 5 March 2021 – Proposed control measures relating to Asian Citrus psyllid and Citrus Greening: Asian and American Strains

Agricultural Product Standards Act 119 of 1990 – GN R149 in GG 44197 of 26 February 2021 – Regulations relating to the grading, packing and marking of dehydrated vegetables intended for sale in the Republic published in GN R396 of 13 March 1970 repealed

Geoscience Act 100 of 1993 – Gen Notice 84 in GG 44228 of 4 March 2021 – Draft Geoscience Act Regulations, 2021 – for comment

Public Service Act, 1994 (Proclamation 103 of 1994) – GN 172 in GG 44229 of 5 March 2021 – Schedule 1 amended with effect from 1 April 2021

National Forests Act 84 of 1998 – GN 155 in GG 44204 of 1 March 2021 – List of protected tree species

National Environmental Management Act 107 of 1998 – GN 142 in GG 44191 of 26 February 2021 – Identification of procedures to be followed when applying for or deciding on an environmental authorisation application for large scale wind and solar photovoltaic facilities, when occurring in renewable energy development zones

National Environmental Management Act 107 of 1998 – GN 143 in GG 44191 of 26 February 2021 – Identification of geographical areas important for the development of strategic gas transmission pipeline infrastructure

National Environmental Management Act 107 of 1998 – GN 144 in GG 44191 of 26 February 2021 – Identification of geographical areas of strategic importance for the development of large scale wind and solar photovoltaic energy facilities

National Environmental Management Act 107 of 1998 – GN 145 in GG 44191 of 26 February 2021 – Identification of procedures to be followed when applying for or deciding on an environmental authorisation application for the development of electricity transmission and distribution infrastructure when occurring in renewable energy development zones

World Heritage Convention Act 49 of 1999 – Gen Notice 141 in GG 44191 of 26 February 2021 – Notice of intention to proclaim certain land in the land situated in the Western and Eastern Cape to be part of the Cape Floral Region Protected Areas World Heritage Site – for comment

Natural Scientific Professions Act 27 of 2003 – BN 9 in GG 44191 of 26 February 2021 – South African Council for Natural Scientific Professions (SACNASP): Fee structure for 2021/22 published and all Board Notices regarding fee structure retracted with effect from 1 April 2021

National Environmental Management: Biodiversity Act 10 of 2004 – GN 171 in GG 44229 of 5 March 2021 – Draft revised National Biodiversity Framework – for comment

National Environmental Management Biodiversity Act 10 of 2004 – GN 165 in GG 44219 of 3 March 2021 – Board members of the South African National Biodiversity Institute: Nominations invited

National Environmental Management: Air Quality Act 39 of 2004 – GN 135 in GG 44190 of 19 February 2021 – draft Methodological Guidelines for Quantification of Greenhouse Gas Emissions – for comment

Financial Markets Act 19 of 2012 – BN 8 in GG 44191 of 26 February 2021 – Notice of proposed amendments to the A2X Listing Requirements – for comment

Protection of Personal Information Act 4 of 2013 – Gen Notice 75 in GG 44191 of 26 February 2021 – Information Regulator – Date of commencement of Regulations relating to the Protection of Personal Information, 2018 –  Regulation 5: 1 March 2021; Reg. 4: 1 May 2021; and the residual Regulations: 1 July 2021

Protection of Personal Information Act 4 of 2013 – Gen Notice 75 in GG 44191 of 26 February 2021 – Guidelines to Develop Codes of Conduct published with effect from 1 March 2021

Legal Practice Act 28 of 2014 – Gen Notice 70 in GG 44190 of 19 February 2021 – South African Legal Practice Council: Proposed amendment to Rules of the Council – for comment

Division of Revenue Act 4 of 2020 – GN 157 in GG 44207 of 1 March 2021 – Conditional allocations and explanatory memorandum

National Land Transport Act 5 of 2009 – GN 132 in GG 44188 of 12 February 2021 – North West Land Transport Regulations, 2020

Standards Act 8 of 2008 – GN 92 in GG 44229 of 5 March 2021 – Amendment and new standards

Local Government: Municipal Structures Act 117 of 1998 – GN 168 in GG 44227 of 4 March 2021 – Name change of Mbizana Local Municipality to Winnie Madikizela- Mandela Local Municipality

South African Weather Service Act 8 of 2001 – GN 154 in GG 44203 of 1 March 2021 – South African Weather Service Board members – Nominations invited

National Environmental Management Protected Areas Act: 57 of 2003 – GN 156 in GG 44205 of 1 March 2021 –  South African National Parks Board members –  Nominations invited


Eastern Cape

Spatial Planning and Land Use Management 16 of 2013 – LAN 31 in PG 4516 of 1 March 2021 – Ntabankulu Local Municipality – Final Spatial Development Framework – for comment

Free State

National Environmental Management: Waste Act 59 of 2008 – PN 71 in PG 104 of 5 March 2021 – Draft Free State Industry Waste Management Plan for the Informal Waster Industry – for comment

KwaZulu Natal

Local Government: Municipal Systems Act 32 of 2000 – PN 10 in PG 2254 of 11 February 2021 – City of uMhlathuze Local Municipality –  Proposed amendments to the Spatial Planning and Land Use Management By-law, 2017 – for comment


National Environmental Management: Protected Areas Act 57 of 2003 – PN 10 in PG 3143 of 5 March 2021 – Intention to declare respective land parcels as a protected environment – Phathametsane, Mudelle and Ngove- Vahlave Protected Environment – for comment

Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996 and Limpopo Business Registration Act 5 of 2003 – LAN 27 in PG 3143 of 5 March 2021 – Maruleng Local Municipality: Draft Business Registration By-Law

Western Cape

National Heritage Resources Act 25 of 1999 – PN 20 in PG 8397 of 5 March 2021 – Amendment of area of declaration of Diepkloof Rock Shelter, Piketberg as Provincial Heritage Site

National Heritage Resources Act 25 of 1999 – PN 21 in PG 8397 of 5 March 2021 – Declaration of a protected area around the Provincial Heritage Site of Diepkloof Rock Shelter, Piketberg


Disaster Management Act 57 of 2002 – PN 167 in PG 27 of 10 February 2021 – Gauteng Provincial Disaster Management Policy Framework



Pietermaritzburg Pistol Club v Member of the Executive Council: Department of Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs for the Province of KwaZulu-Natal and Another (AR 165/19) [2021] ZAKZPHC 14 (1 March 2021)
[1]          This is an appeal against the judgment of Van Zyl J dismissing the application by the appellant, the Pietermaritzburg Pistol Club (the Club), to review the decisions of the first respondent, the Member of the Executive Council, Department of Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs for the Province of KwaZulu-Natal (the MEC) dated 1 July 2015 (the Record of Decision or ROD) and 26 May 2016 (the first appeal decision).[1]  The appeal is with the leave of the Supreme Court of Appeal.
[2]          Two preliminary issues arise in this appeal, either of which, if answered against the appellant, will be dispositive of the appeal. The first, which was raised from the bar on 4 December 2020 when the appeal first was to be argued, was whether a subsequent appeal decision by the first respondent dated 13 November 2018 (the second appeal decision),[2] rendered the appeal moot. The second issue is whether the Club established that it has locus standi in iudicio to review the first appeal decision.
[3]          This judgment concludes that the appeal has been rendered moot by the second appeal decision; that the issue of the Club’s locus standi should nevertheless be determined in the interests of justice; and that the Club had not established that it has the required locus standi to review the decisions. That disposes of the appeal without the need to consider the further arguments advanced. Accordingly, this judgment will be confined to these issues.


Gloucester Resources Limited v Minister for Planning [2019] NSWLEC 7 (8 February 2019)
“Appeal – open cut coal mine – impacts on existing, approved and likely preferred uses of land in the vicinity – high visual impact – negative social impacts – impacts of the mine on climate change – economic and public benefits of the mine and other land uses – impacts and costs of mine outweigh benefits of mine – development consent refused”

United States v Lucero Case No. 19-10074 United States Court of Appeal for the Ninth Circuit Decided 4 March 2021
“The panel reversed a conviction on three counts of knowingly discharging a pollutant in violation of the Clean
Water Act, and remanded for a new trial, in a case in which the defendant orchestrated a scheme charging construction companies to dump dirt and debris on lands near the San Francisco Bay—sites that included “wetlands” and a “tributary” subject to the Act.”



Louw S and Bűrgener M “Sea cucumber trade From Africa to Asia” (Traffic Report February 2021)


2021 10(1) Transnational Environmental Law now available

Dasgupta P “The Economics of Biodiversity: The Dasgupta Review Headline Messages” (Summary of the findings of the Final report) 103 page abridged report or the 610 page full report  [Simon Sephton Syber Ink states that “Of course Cormac Cullinan, in his seminal book, Wild Law – published by Siber Ink over 18 years ago – foresaw all this.”]

Smith ML “Shooting Fish” 2019-2010 KY. J. Equine, Agric., & Nat. Resources L. [Vol. 12 No. 2]

Dernbach J The Role of Trust Law Principles in Defining Public Trust Duties for Natural Resources, https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3569906

Dernbach J Thinking Anew about the Environmental Rights Amendment: An Analysis of Recent Commonwealth Court Decisions https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3777547

Dernbach J Irma Russell and Matt Bogoshian “Advocating for the Future”  https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3786134

Blogs, Discussions, Websites, Videos, ETC

South Africa

Climate change and energy

Bizcommunity: Ball M “Embedded generation: Key to supporting SA’s energy intensive industries” 4 March 2021


Bizcommunity: “DMRE promises to address licence backlog” 5 March 2021

Bizcommunity: Murphy O “Self-generated power, less red tape and new tech will drive SA mining forward” 3 March 2021

Bizcommunity: Botha N “#EnergyIndaba: Private investment critical to meet Africa’s energy needs” 2 March 2021

Bizcommunity: Botha N “#EnergyIndaba: Radically different approach needed to power Africa” 1 March 2021

Water, waste, oceans and chemicals

Bizcommunity: Muller M “Why South Africa needs a new water agency” 3 March 2021


ASSAf: “African Open Science Platform Part 1: Landscape Study” (Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf) (2019-08)) available here

Bizcommunity: “The human cost of Chinese cotton: how does it impact SA?” 2 March 2021



allAfrica: Okeke C “Nigeria: UN, Germany, Unveil Plans to End Nigeria’s Illegal Wildlife Trade” 5 March 2021

allAfrica: “Mozambique: Low Tide Among Causes of Mass Dolphin Deaths in Inhambane” 4 March 2021

The Conversation: Di Minin E et al “Recreational hunting, conservation and livelihoods: no clear evidence trail” 2 March 2021

The Conversation: Bond M “Trailing giants: clues to how people and giraffes can thrive together” 2 March 2021

Climate Change and Energy

IISD ENB: “Conflict-Climate Change-COVID-19 Nexus: A Food Systems Perspective” 1 March 2021

IISD ENB: “A Just Energy Transition is Key to Delivering Climate Action in Africa” 1 March 2021

allAfrica: Musisi J “Uganda: Standard Bank Reviewing Oil Pipeline Financing Concerns” 2 March 2021

Extractives Baraza: Barigaba J “East Africa: NGOs’ Pressure on Banks Threatens $3.5bn Pipeline Project Financing” 3 March 2021

Extractives Baraza: “Shell Invests to Support Nigeria’s Domestic Gas Ambition for Industrialization” 3 March 2021

IOL: Harrisberg K “Africa urged to embrace wind power to create jobs and go green” 6 March 2021

Bizcommunity: “Africa looks likely to continue relying on power from fossil fuels for some time” 3 March 2021

allAfrica: Ndhlovu L “Zimbabwe: ‘One Voice’ – Teen Activist Urges Zimbabwe’s Youth to Join Climate Fight” 5 March 2021

BBC: Kushner J “How Kenya is harnessing the immense heat from the Earth” 5 March 2021

Environmental enforcement

Lexology: “Okpabi and others v Royal Dutch Shell plc and another – UK Supreme Court provides further clarification on parent company liability for the actions of its foreign subsidiary” 1 March 2021

allAfrica: “Africa: Meet Seven Women Saving the Planet” 5 March 2021

Local government

Thomas Reuters Foundation: Weru J and Cobbett W “Slum upgrading in Kenya: what are the conditions for success?” 25 February 2021

Thomas Reuters Foundation: Biron CL “’Turning point’: Cities urged to act on lessons learned in pandemic” 2 March 2021

The Guardian: Okoreke C “‘It’s radical’: the Ugandan city built on solar, shea butter and people power development” 3 March 2021


Lexology: “In brief: natural gas production in Egypt” 16 February 2021

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

allAfrica: “Mining Sector Urged to Adapt to Changes Brought By Covid-19, Climate Change” 4 March 2021

Water, sanitation, oceans, and chemicals

Daily Maverick: Fabricius P “Could new mediators finally resolve the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam dispute?” 5 March 2021

allAfrica: Chelin R and Reva D “Africa Can Learn Maritime Lessons From Its Small Island States” 5 March 2021

allAfrica: Williams-Madzonga G “Botswana: Over P200 Million Water Supply Project Progress Satisfactory” 4 March 2021

allAfrica: Shigwedha A “Namibia: Officials Trained in Groundwater Management” 4 March 2021

allAfrica: Ntirenganya E “Rwanda: Parliament Wants Further Audit Into Nduba Landfill” 3 March 2021

allAfrica: Rori R “Zimbabwe: Causeway Dam Set to Transform Livelihoods” 4 March 2021

allAfrica: “Tunisian and International NGOs Join in Demanding Immediate Return of Waste Imported From Italy” 3 March 2021


IISD ENB: “7th Session of the Africa Regional Forum on Sustainable Development (ARFSD-7) | 1–4 March 2021 | Brazzaville, Republic of Congo, and Virtual Participation

The Independent: Marsi F “How Kenya’s farmers are trying to outsmart locusts and climate change” 6 March 2021


Biodiversity, protected areas, and culture

TheStraitsTimes: Godin M “The Louvre moves its treasures as climate change brings more floods to Paris” 26 February 2021

Nature: Malapaty S “The search for animals harbouring coronavirus — and why it matters” 2 March 2021

The Guardian: Hunt E “’Giant luminous shark’: researchers discover three deep-sea sharks glow in the dark” 2 March 2021

IISD SDG Knowledge Hub: “WTO Negotiations on Fisheries: “Fundamental Differences” Remain” 1 March 2021

Thomas Reuters Foundation: Texeira F “Lost ‘libraries’: Brazil’s indigenous people lament COVID deaths of elders” 1 March 2021

The Conversation: Bergstrom DM et al “‘Existential threat to our survival’: see the 19 Australian ecosystems already collapsing” 25 February 2021

Lexology: “Ukraine to Approve Draft Law on Ecological Modernization in Industrial Sector” 26 February 2021

Lexology: “The Environment Bill and Biodiversity Gain” [UK] 25 February 2021

Science: Pennisi E “Butterflies are vanishing in the western U.S.—but not for the reasons scientists thought” 4 March 2021

Science: Pennisi E “A half-trillion corals live in just one ocean. Does that mean they are safe?” 4 March 2021

The Independent: Cockburn H “UK moths decline by a third in 50 years, ‘worrying’ new report reveals” 4 March 2021

Climate change and energy

Lexology: “Spotlight: climate change law, regulation and policy in European Union” 27 February 2020

Nature: Verma A, Ahmad A and Giovannini F “Nuclear energy, ten years after Fukushima” 5 March 2021

Lexology: “Spotlight: climate change law, regulation and policy in Colombia” 27 February 2020

Lexology: “Spotlight: climate change law, regulation and policy in Chile” 27 February 2020

Lexology: “Spotlight: climate change law, regulation and policy in Canada” 27 February 2020

Lexology: “In brief: natural gas production in European Union” 16 February 2021

IISD SDG Knowledge Hub: “EU Strategy Seeks to Step up Global Engagement on Climate Adaptation” 1 March 2021

IISD SDG Knowledge Hub: “Energy Working Groups Discuss Roadmap to 2030, 2050” 1 March 2021

IISD SDG Knowledge Hub: “EU Trade Strategy Supports Climate Neutrality” 3 March 2021

Carbon Pulse: Leugers S “Comment: New claims for a new era of private sector carbon” 3 March 2021

Lexology: “EPA Implements Clean Air Act Authority to Finalize Greenhouse Gas Emission Standards for Aircraft” [USA] 26 February 2021

Legal Futures: “Climate change ‘could transform legal profession’” 25 February 2021

Lexology: “FERC to Natural Gas Pipeline Industry: What about Environmental Justice?” 25 February 2021

Lexology: “France and climate change: State failure and liability for environmental harm” 25 February 2021

Science: Normile D “Why cleaning up Fukushima’s damaged reactors will take another 30 years” 4 March 2021

Bizcommunity: Xia Zhou “Plastic is part of the carbon cycle and needs to be included in climate calculations” 1 March 2021

The Independent: Cutts S “The tides have a crucial role to play in powering Britain” 4 March 2021

Environmental enforcement

Lexology: “U.S. EPA Reaffirms Commitment to Environmental Self-Disclosure Audit Policy with Updated FAQ” 3 March 2021

Lexology: “Public consultation on the new European directive on protection of the environment through criminal law” 26 February 2021

Lexology: “An overview of damages and compensation under the new Dutch Environmental Act” 1 March 2021

Lexology: “UK Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Heathrow Airport Ltd, Despite UK’s 2015 Paris Agreement Commitments” 26 February 2021

Lexology: “California Launches Updated Environmental Justice Screening Tool” 25 February 2021

Lexology: “Preparing for a More Aggressive Federal Environmental Enforcement Regime” [USA] 25 February 2021

Lexology: “Periodic reporting and obligations on environmental issues” [El Salvador] 26 February 2021

EOS: Tate E and Emrich C “Assessing Social Equity in Disasters” 23 February 2021

Local government

Lexology: “Het ‘afwachten’ van een lokale overheid in een milieustakingsvordering kan volgens het Hof van Cassatie niet worden aanzien als ‘stilzitten’” 3 March 2021 [The time that a local government waits to receive authorisation to proceed, cannot be seen as “sitting still” – in Belgium it is possible for the community to approach the court to force an authority to act if there is a breach of environmental legislation.]

BBC: Singer D “How to grow food in a concrete jungle” March 2021


Lexology: “Spotlight: the legal framework and licensing regime for mining in Uzbekistan” 10 November 2021

Lexology: “A thumbnail guide to oil exploration and production in USA” 29 June 2020

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

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

IUCN: Fowler R “Case-note: Gloucester Resources Limited v. Minister for Planning” 31 July 2019

Water, oceans, waste, and chemicals

Thomas Reuters Foundation: Graham J “Canadian river wins legal rights in global push to protect nature” 24 February 2021

Lexology: “Energy from Waste – A load of rubbish or a viable solution to landfill?” 4 March 2021

New York Times: Velasquez-Manoff M and White J “In the Atlantic Ocean, Subtle Shifts Hint at Dramatic Dangers – The warming atmosphere is causing an arm of the powerful Gulf Stream to weaken, some scientists fear” 2 March 2021

Lexology: “Many Opposing Views on California’s New Water Futures Market” [USA] 2 March 2021

Lexology: “EPA indicates intention to regulate certain PFAS in drinking water” [USA] 2 March 2021

Lexology: “NSW introduces regulation to ban use of PFAS” [Australia] 3 March 2021

IISD SDG Knowledge Hub: “Harmful Chemicals Found in 25% of Children’s Toys, UNEP Study Finds” 3 March 2021

IISD SDG Knowledge Hub: “Chemicals Working Group Recommends Targets for Beyond 2020 Framework” 1 March 2021

Lexology: “Maritime Environmental Law Update (February 2021 Edition)” [USA] 26 February 2021

The Independent: Boyle L “Does it matter if I put the wrong things in the recycling bins?” 4 March 2021

The Guardian:  Morton A and Readfearn G “The disaster movie playing in Australia’s wild places – and solutions that could help hit pause” 5 March 2021


Nature: Remmel A “Scientists want virtual meetings to stay after the COVID pandemic” 2 March 2021

Lexology: “The Rise of ESG Bonds in Corporate Financing” [Canada] 2 March 2021

Lexology: “Sustainable Finance – A Frameworks Overview” [EU] 2 March 2021

Lexology: “Developments in the ESG Bond Market: Sustainability-Linked Bonds and Transition Bonds” 3 March 2021

Lexology: “’Buy one, get one tree’” 3 March 2021

Lexology: “Corporate governance trends: a look back & ahead” [Netherlands/Global] 2 March 2021

IISD SDG Knowledge Hub: “UNCTAD Brief Calls for Linking Right to Food, Trade Policy” 1 March 2021

IISD SDG Knowledge Hub: “Consumer Habits, Nature-Positive Food Systems, and Frontier Tech Spotlighted Prior to UNEA-5” 3 March 2021

Lexology: “Inside track: Planning, Environment & Sustainability” 1 March 2021

Lexology: “One step closer to single-touch environmental approvals under the EPBC Act” [Australia] 26 February 2021

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

Conferences, Workshops, Study Opportunities


ELA Screening Club Event: The Adonisi judgment and issues of spatial apartheid surrounding the judgment
Date: 25 March 2021
More information 

North West ELA Branch: Virtual Lecture – Dr Catherine Blanchard University of Utrecht
Date: 18 March 2021

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

University of the Western Cape: The Link Between Access to Safe and Nutritious Food and Non-Communicable Diseases in South Africa
Date: 18 March 2021
Time: 14:00-15:30 PM SAST Zoom
Please click here to register in advance for this meeting – you will then receive confirmation and the Zoom link. For more information email Keathélia Sapto

South African Institute for Advanced Constitutional, Public, Human Rights and International Law (University of Johannesburg), the International Commission of Jurists and the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung Online Panel Discussion: What are the obligations of states and corporations to ensure access to a COVID-19 vaccine
Date: 11 March 2021
Time: 14h00 (South African time – GMT plus 2)
Venue: Zoom Meeting – RSVP: Please RSVP to in order to receive the link to the seminar and to join on Zoom.

Free Live Webinar: Nutrition and Climate Change in South Africa: Adapting to the Challenge
Date: Wednesday, 17 March 2021
Time: 16:00 to 17:30
Venue: Online via Zoom – You will receive the link when registered. For more information about this event contact – or Physicians Association for Nutrition South Africa – 0828785550

NWU Optentia: Prof Ian Goldin (Oxford University) webinar. The Covid-19 Pandemic: From Global Crisis to a Better World
Date: Tuesday, 9 March 2021
Time: 12:00 to 13:15
Venue: Online via Zoom. Register and more information


IUNAEL Virtual Colloquium 2021
Date: 28 June – 2 July, 2021
Call for Abstracts for the Colloquium (deadline April 15, 2021)
Submission of Abstracts
Accepted abstracts for the (postponed) IUCN AEL 2020 in Groningen will be rolled over to this year’s online IUCN AEL Colloquium in Groningen. Abstracts and/or papers must be written in English, complete with title, author(s)’s name(s), and institutional affiliation. Abstracts (300 words, maximum) should contain the aim of the paper, main points and a brief conclusion. Abstracts should not contain tables, graphs, drawings, etc. Abstracts should be attached to an email to – the subject of the email should be “Abstract – 2021 IUCN AEL”. For further information see: www.iucnael2021groningen.nl

CLIMATE2021: Melbourne Climate Futures launch
Date:  Tuesday 23 March 2021
More information

Environment, Energy and Natural Resources (EENR) Center at the University of Houston Law Center webinar:  Uncommon Law: Judging in the Anthropocene by Professor Joshua Galperin
Date: Friday, March 12, 2021
Time: 10:00am (CST)
Article to be discussed available here
Register here

Stegner Center 26th annual symposium: The Plastics Paradox: Societal Boon or Environmental Bane?
Date: 25-26 March 2021
More information

Georgetown Law Environmental Faculty: From Trump to Biden: Environmental Law & the Path Forward
Date: 9 March 2021
Please RSVP for the zoom link here https://bit.ly/3c2abPJ.

IAIA21: Smartening Impact Assessment in Challenging Times
Date: 18-21 May 2021
Registration Early bird before 11 March 2021





Richards N “Newland Forest’s trees being stripped for bark a looming ecological crisis” The Citizen 25 February 2021

Environmental: New alien, invasive species lists, regulations in force
“A recent Government Gazette notice has confirmed the 1 March commencement of alien and invasive species lists and regulations published in September 2020. However, still listed as Category 2 invasive fish species, rainbow and brown trout are excluded from the arrangements concerned. As a result, permits may still be required to possess, control, catch or release either species – although this is not expressly stated in the commencement notice.” Read full report  in Legalbrief Policy Watch 3 March 2021

Environmental Enforcement

“Sasol Cleared as Investigation Continues Into The Source Of The Stench Experienced In Parts Of Gauteng And MpumalangaThe Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries (DEFF) has cleared Sasol’s Secunda based operation as the source of the odour caused by elevated levels of sulphur dioxide and hydrogen sulphide. According to an inspection, the Sasol plant was within the approved limits of the Atmospheric Emission Licence. DEFF has expanded its investigation to include power plants and waste water works in the area that also emit hydrogen sulphide.” Source: Sowetan Live dated 28 February 2021 Imbewu Sustainability News Letter March 2021

Litigation: Greens group hit with R200m claim by developers
“Two property development companies have issued summons for almost R200m against an environmental lobby group and its chairperson, claiming compensation for delays in a large Johannesburg project, Beeld reports. Century Property Developments and Riversands Developments claim in the summons that the Greater Kyalami Conservancy (Gekco) and its chairperson, Kristin Kallesen, acted unlawfully through their ‘senseless’ and ‘frivolous’ objections and appeals against developments. The companies say a planned development between Fourways and Diepsloot, which includes an economic hub, storage facilities and high density accommodation, was delayed by months because of the alleged unlawful conduct. Although public participation is prescribed in law, the defendants abused the processes, the property groups allege. The claim of almost R200m consists of property rates for the vacant land while the project was stalled, a loss of rental income, legal fees and professional expenses. Kallesen and Gecko objected to the environmental impact study of the development and then appealed a decision that dismissed their objections. In their appeal, they highlighted the importance of wetlands in the area, the impact of new roads and the plight of an endangered frog species. Kallesen declined to comment on the summons.” Full Beeld report (subscription needed) Legalbrief 4 March 2021

Climate Change and Energy

Steyn L “Eskom sees opportunity for green financing deals ahead of COP26” BusinessLive 1 March 2021 [Legalbrief Environmental 2 March 2021]

Bega S “Feathers fly over proposed wind farm’s impacts on great white pelicans” Mail & Guardian 5 March 2021

Nicholson G “McKinsey, Trillian planned to score R10bn from Eskom, says former Trillian Management CEO” Daily Maverick 4 March 2021

De Bruyn C “Renewables procurement to resume” Engineering News 5 March 2021

Creamer T “Deployments of 515 MW in 2020 cement South Africa’s wind leadership in Africa” Engineering News 4 March 2021

“’Unwarranted attacks’ against Eskom could distract management from getting it back on track” Engineering News 4 March 2021

“Eskom instructed to focus on procurement function in turnaround plan” SA News 4 March 2021

Liedtke S “Southern Africa has ‘huge potential’ to benefit from the shift to green hydrogen” Engineering News 4 March 2021

Local government

Wayne Duvenage The rise of active citizens: Formal and informal tax revolts in municipalities Daily Maverick 3 March 2021 [provided by Anél du Plessis, CLES, NWU]

Maotshe R “Tshwane Rivers of Sewage Woes” Pretoria News 1 March 2021 [Legalbrief Environmental 2 March 2021]

Mafata M “Water protests rock Kimberley” GroundUp 5 March 2021

Mbovane T “Pothole users get water” GroundUp 5 March 2021

Steyn D “Blow for activists in River Club development” GroundUp 1 March 2021

“Deadly Air Case Update: Pollution-trapped Highveld communities ‘need more than sympathy’” CER 6 March 2021

Litigation: Tshwane, government clash over sewerage crisis
“The National Department of Water & Sanitation is taking the City of Tshwane to court about its alleged non-compliance with the Water Act, Beeld reports. The matter is set down in the Gauteng High Court (Pretoria) for 8 March. Departmental spokesperson Sputnik Ratau said litigation between two spheres of government was ‘the last resort’ after several discussions about dysfunctional sewerage plants had failed. The national government says in court papers raw sewage is flowing into dams in the region in contravention of the Act. Residents close to the Roodeplaat Dam complain of ‘water as thick as pea soup’ flowing into the dam. The DA-led City of Tshwane says no upgrades have been done to sewerage plants in recent decades and the metro is struggling to obtain financing for such upgrades and is not getting assistance from the national government. The Human Rights Commission has also entered the fray. The commission’s Buang Jones said they started with a preliminary investigation in 2019 and will now compile a full report on the ‘sewerage crisis across the Tshwane metro’.” Full Beeld report (subscription needed) Legalbrief 3 March 2021

Waste: Durban businessman clears polluted river site
“A Durban businessman took matters into his own hands to clean a dumping ground on the edge of the Umgeni River, under the Connaught Bridge Interchange near the Umgeni River Bird Park, to create a recycling hub. According to a Sunday Tribune report, Marlin Naidu, the owner of Logtrans, said he had lived and worked near the river for the past 46 years and hoped to return it to its ‘glory days’. Naidu used four trucks and a tractor loader backhoe from his company to clear rubbish and un-recyclable waste to be disposed of in a municipal landfill. ‘Friday cost me R15 000 but in total, I have spent close to R4m over the years. I have a site upriver where I have a licence to mine sand for construction but all I mine is rubbish and waste. The river is polluted and the sand is unusable. It is like an underwater and underground landfill. It is unacceptable and something had to be done,’ said Naidu. Janet Simpkins, from Adopt a River, linked up to try to clean up the mess. ‘Marlin has helped us clear, compact and stabilise the area. This is just one section of the river, the problem is that people are just dumping without consequence,’ she said. Simpkins said there was an informal group called the Roadhouse Recyclers who sifted through what had become more or less a dumpsite along the river under the interchange for materials they could sell to earn money.” Full Sunday Tribune report (subscription needed) Legalbrief Environmental 2 March 2021


Mahlakoana T “Mineworkers Who Contracted Silicosis, TB ‘Can Appeal’ Rejection Of Claims” EWN 3 March 2021

Yende SS “Mpumalanga environmental group refuses to delete ‘anti development’ statement from website” News24 26 February 2021

Liedtke S “South Africa has ‘all the right ingredients’ to transition to a gas economy – panel” Engineering News 4 March 2021

Mining: Broken mineral rights system to be examined
“The Mineral Resources & Energy Department is ‘not married’ to the faulty digital mineral rights management system, Samrad, and will undertake a six-month study into whether to fix and improve it or scrap it in favour of another system, according to a Business Day report. Around the world, governments have mining cadastres, which are state-run online systems to manage mineral rights. SA has a system called Samrad (SA Mineral Resources Administration System) on which mineral right applications are lodged by the public and then processed by the department. Senior department officials told a Parliamentary Portfolio Committee about its efforts, particularly in Mpumalanga, to address a large backlog of more than 5 000 mineral rights applications and the cadastre system. The bad news for mining and prospecting companies is that the department will take another six months to consider its options about Samrad, a system introduced in April 2011, and which has been problematic ever since. Mineral Resources & Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe described the broken Samrad system as the department’s Achilles heel. At a meeting between Mantashe and his senior departmental officials this week, the matter of Samrad was discussed and the commitment was made to deliver a decision by August.” Full Business Day report (subscription needed) Legalbrief 4 March 2021 – see also BLOG – South Africa – Mining above

Mining: ‘Game changing’ exploration plan announced
“Delegates at a Canadian conference heard SA is weeks away from a mineral exploration plan formulated by the state and mining companies to lure fresh investment. A Business Day report notes SA accounts for less than 1% of international expenditure on mineral exploration and the plan is intended to grow that by five times in coming years. The plan will be presented to Mineral Resources & Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe and then taken to the Cabinet and discussed with communities and other stakeholders. Few details were given about the plan, but Minerals Council CEO Roger Baxter spoke positively of it and urged its implementation as quickly as possible rather than indulging in more talks. The plan has a lot of good ideas. It will be a game-changing plan when it’s published in the next month or so,’ Baxter said. The council and department discussed the backlog in the granting of prospecting and mining rights as well as mineral right transfers, with a commitment from the regulator to expedite the granting of these rights, Baxter said. Department officials told Parliament last week there were 5 326 unprocessed prospecting and mining rights and transfers but that fundamental problems within the department were preventing their conclusion. Full Business Day report (subscription needed) Legalbrief 3 March 2021 See also LEGISLATION – Notices above for a number of notices that pertain to gas infrastructure


Alberts D “KZN honey widow goes toe-to-toe with retail giant’ Bizcommunity 5 March 2021

“Changes to Regulation 28, a step in the right direction” Bizcommunity 3 March 2021

Call to care for the environment” SA News 5 March 2021 – also see DEFF website

“Mpumalanga focuses on reviving economy” SA News 5 March 2021


Biodiversity, protected areas, animal rights, and culture

“Nepal becomes 12th country to ink World Bank REDD agreement” Carbon Pulse 1 March 2021

Lockwood A “Cuba passes animal welfare law amid pressure from activists” The Jurist 3 March 2021

“Nepal becomes 12th country to ink World Bank REDD agreement” Carbon Pulse 1 March 2021

Stephensen SK “Indigenous Amazonians sue France supermarket chain over deforestation claims” The Jurist 5 March 2021

Fellet J and Pamment C “Facebook rainforest ads: Inquiry ordered into Amazon land sales” BBC 5 March 2021

Murray-Ragg N “New Zealand iwi signs deed of settlement with Crown, settling historical Treaty of Waitangi claims” The Jurist 1 March 2021

Boyle L “Conservationists sound alarm of threat to jaguars from raging Amazon fires and deforestation” The Independent 4 March 2021

Cockburn H “National Trust launches ‘worst case scenario’ map showing impact of climate crisis on UK heritage sites” The Independent 5 March 2021

McVeigh K “EU accused of ‘neocolonial’ plundering of tuna in Indian Ocean” The Guardian 5 March 2021

May N “Wisdom the albatross, the world’s oldest known wild bird, has another chick at age 70” The Guardian 5 March 2021

Pandey M “UK will no longer use bee-harming pesticide” BBC 3 March 2021

Njehia J and Moshiri N “Elephants or avocados: a Kenyan dilemma” Reuters 3 March 2021

Climate change and energy

“Five-year plan sets China on path to further emissions growth” Carbon Pulse 5 March 2021

“China cuts “carbon intensity” 18.8% in past five years, in effort to rein in emissions” Reuters 2 March 2021

“One year on, EU decision-makers struggle to conclude climate law talks” Carbon Pulse 4 March 2021

Farand C “French climate bill set for rocky ride after citizens’ assembly slams weak ambition” Climate Home News 3 March 2021

Abnett K and Shalal A “Exclusive: European officials urge World Bank to exclude fossil-fuel investments” Reuters 27 February 2021

Stephenson SK “Texas power providers, regulators face legal fallout from freeze and blackouts” The Jurist 1 March 2021

Dunne D “No clarity in government’s plans for net zero or climate conference goals, MPs warn” The Independent 5 March 2021

Readfearn G “Blue carbon: how three Australian marine sites lock away 2bn tonnes of CO2The Guardian 2 March 2021

Kinver M “Then and now: A ‘megadrought’ in California” BBC 4 March 2021

“The fishermen swapping petrol for electricity” [Kenya] BBC 4 March 2021

Abnett K “One year on from EU climate law, Brussels defends emissions plan” Reuters 4 March 2021

Abnett K “EU countries approve green transition fund, look to challenges ahead” Reuters 3 March 2021

Williams N “Canada unveils greenhouse gas reduction credits to boost carbon trading market” Reuters 5 March 2021

Environmental enforcement

Stephenson SK “UN rights experts urge end to environmental racism in Louisiana’s ‘Cancer Alley’” The Jurist 3 March 2021

Mbatera E “Namibia: GoFundMe Campaign for ‘Poisoned’ Fishrot Whistleblower” allAfrica 2 March 2021

Chihaavi E “European Union court finds UK in breach of EU air pollution limit” The Jurist 6 March 2021

House R “US Supreme Court expands exception to Freedom of Information Act” The Jurist 5 March 2021

Lovera PS “Nalleli Cobo: How a nine-year-old fought an oil company and won” BBC 5 March 2021

Harley L “Barrett authors first U.S. Supreme Court ruling, a loss for environmentalists” Reuters 4 March 2021

“EU court’s bird protection ruling deals blow to German wind power plans” Clean Energy Wire 5 March 2021

Local government

Monti A “Pennsylvania municipalities sue state over preemption of local plastic bans” The Jurist 5 March 2021

Tapper J “Covid data show sewage monitoring could be vital in infection control” The Guardian 7 March 2021

Wainwright O “Eco-homes become hot property in UK’s zero-carbon ‘paradigm shift’” The Guardian 6 March 2021

Thompson A “‘No way’: Calls for shut-down over Meriton development’s size” Sydney Morning Herald 7 March 2021

“Eastchurch cliff fall: Drone images show houses closer to edge” BBC 6 March 2021


“Green revolution gets more expensive as copper price surges” Engineering News 4 March 2021

“Whitehaven coal mine firm seeks judicial review of council U-turn” BBC 7 March 2021

Water, waste, oceans and chemicals

Harvey F “Atlantic Ocean circulation at weakest in a millennium, say scientists” The Guardian 26 February 2021

Baurick T and Parker H “’Man, let’s go!’: Environmental groups cheer release of river diversion report in Louisiana” Nola.com 5 March 2021

Batchelor T “‘Massive’ impact of food waste on climate with nearly a billion tons binned each year, finds UN report” The Independent 4 March 2021

Siegle L “Revealed: why hundreds of thousands of tonnes of recycling are going up in smoke” [UK] The Guardian 7 March 2021

Vierus T “Reef revival: Fiji’s corals bouncing back after ruinous cyclone” The Guardian 4 March 2021

“The ‘LitterCam’ that’s watching you” BBC 3 March 2021

“West London scientists design ‘world’s first recyclable cling film’” BBC 2 March 2021

“Fire ‘localised’ on Siberian river after pipeline accident: company” Reuters 6 March 2021

Ayyub R and Rabinovitch A “Israel accuses Iran of link to oil spill off its shores” Reuters 4 March 2021


“Companies are joining forces to help travellers go greener” IOL 5 March 2021

Hamilton I “It’s not just a bad hangover – this is how alcohol affects the environment” The Independent 5 March 2021

Singh M “California’s wildfire smoke could be more harmful than vehicle emissions, study says” The Guardian 6 March 2021

Burger S “Resilience, natural resources become key as global food security deteriorates slightly” Engineering News 5 March 2021

Messenger S “Pollution: Bid to scrap Wales’ farming rules fails in Senedd” BBC 4 March 2021

“Brazil working with Biden on climate, Amazon deforestation, says foreign minister” Reuters 5 March 2021

Vacancies, Bursaries, Funding, Opportunities, etc.


ELA Student essay competition
Closing date: 31 May 2021
More information

Dean: Student Affairs
Central University of Technology, Free State 

Puma Energy Legal Counsel
More information

Le Roux Attorney: Junior Associate Attorney
More information

South African Reserve Bank: Graduate Trainee
Closing date: 30 April 2021
More information

Animal Law Reform South Africa: Executive Director, Lawyer
Closing date: 9 April 2021
More information


Nature is currently inviting applications for its Driving Global Impact award for early career researchers, and has specifically requested applications from a diverse range of researchers in different fields and countries.

The Nature Award for Driving Global Impact was launched in 2019 with the aim of championing researchers who are striving towards the achievement of one or more of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. For the 2021 awards, applications are invited from researchers working in one of the following fields:

  • Food security, water security and/or energy security – ensuring a long term, sustainable supply of either food, water or energy.
  • Healthcare interventions – the assessment, improvement or promotion of human health.
  • Environmental protection – protection of the natural environment on land and water including the repair of damage.
  • Climate change – slowing climate change and adapting to what’s unavoidable.
  • Sustainable cities – building green, liveable cities that last.


The award is open to applicants of all nationalities. Applicants must:

  • Be employed by a university, research institute or any other not-for-profit organisation.
    ● Hold a PhD or clinical doctorate, one of which awarded not earlier than 1st January 2006.
    ● Lead an independent research group established within the past 5 years as of 1st January 2021.
    ● Demonstrate the application, or potential application, of their research to make a positive impact on one of the global challenges above. 1
    ● Dates may be adjusted in the case of maternity leave(s) or other formal leave(s) of absence taken before the application deadline to adjust for the duration of the leave taken. ● The reference date for calculation of the eligibility period should be the date of commencement of the first independent research project led by the team leader named in the application. In practice everyone who commenced such a position after 31st December 2015 is eligible. This period will be extended in the case of maternity leave(s) or other formal leave(s) of absences taken after the 1st January 2006 and before the application deadline with the duration of the leave taken.

Apply: Full detailed information about the award is available at: https://www.nature.com/collections/ccjnyjxvmp

Application guidelines are also attached here. All applications must be made online through the website. The deadline for applications for this award is March 21, 2021 – 23:59 GMT. Questions may be sent to:




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