Water News

Appoint a Water Tribunal!

Written by  Friday, 27 March 2015 04:15
Rate this item
(0 votes)

In Mpumalanga the Escarpment Environmental Protection Group (EEPOG) and the Wonderfontein Community Organisation have applied to the Pretoria High Court for an order to reinstitute the Water Tribunal.

The order would force Minister Nomvula Mokonyane to "do her duty" as minister of Water and Sanitation.

The Water Tribunal is an independent body which has jurisdiction in all the provinces and consists of a chairperson, a deputy chairperson, and additional members. It has jurisdiction over water disputes. Members of the Water Tribunal must have knowledge in law, engineering, water resource management or related fields of knowledge. They are appointed by the Minister on the recommendation of the Judicial Service Commission, the body which chooses judges. The Water Tribunal replaced the Water Court in 1998.

The Minister’s refusal to appoint a new Water Tribunal has been determined as being ultra vires by the North Gauteng High Court in 2012 already. The Department had adopted a process of mediating disputes between itself and water users, and the last time a dispute was heard by the Water Tribunal was in 2011. The Court found that the Minister had acted illegally, and urged the Minister to rectify the situation as soon as possible.

The Court found that it is incumbent on the Minister to uphold the rule of law and perform her constitutional obligations, and that she cannot mero motu decide to do away with the Water Tribunal and replace it with a panel of mediators.  Also, the Court found that the Department had no authorisation to issue a directive compelling water users to participate in a mediation process.

Koos Pretoria from the EEPOG says that the people are the real losers in this scenario. The Blue Scorpions are being hamstrung in the execution of their enforcement duties as they are obliged to wait for a non-existent tribunal to hear matters. 
In the application to the court, the two environmental organisations are asking that the court order that the Water Tribunal be established within 90 days.

MINING

Open-cast· coal mine a threat to Springs wetland

WITH hands covered with liver spots, Stan Madden points out the expanse of Aston Lake glimmering  in  the  distance Fields of near-ripened meal­ies and clusters of soya beans stretch across this fertile, wet­land-sodden landscape on the outskirts of Springs

Tough times for S.Africa town blighted by mine closure

The closure of the mine at Blyvooruitzicht, which sat on one of South Africa's r...

R60 Billion held for mines that are never closed

Never-before-seen data shows a fortune has been set aside for mine rehabilitatio...

SA NEWS

Nuwe myn ‘sal duisende hul huise kos’

Byna 10 000 mense sal verskuif moet word as Anglo Operations Ltd en Canyon Coal hul sin kry om ’n massiewe oopgroefsteenkoolmyn oos van Springs te begin.

SA coal mines leave legacy of ruin

Johannesburg - A 19-month data investigation of mine closures indicates that since at least 2011 no large coal mines operating in South Africa have been granted closure.

Besoedelingklagte: Mynbase daag nie by hof op

Drie direkteure van die Blyvooruitzicht- en Village Main Reef-goudmyn buite ­Carletonville kan ’n boete van tot R10 miljoen of tien jaar tronkstraf opgelê word weens die beweerde besoedeling en agteruitgang van die omgewing.

LLM/MPhil in Environmental Law Programme launched

  The Department of Public Law at the University of Pretoria hosted a launch of its LLM and MPhil programmes in Environmental Law, coordinated by Ms Melanie Murcott, Senior Lecturer, Environmental and Administrative Law, in February 2017.

WATER

Eastern Basin acid water plant is "sledgehammer"

The Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) has used a "sledgehammer" for its R1bn treatment plant for acid mine drainage (AMD) on the Eastern mining basin that could ultimately create more toxic water.  This is the view of water strategy and consulting mining hydrologist Kym Morton, who believes government is "wasting money" by pumping large volumes of water and adding lime that makes it alkaline but still toxic and hazardous. 

SABC Health Talk, Environmental Health: 25 February 2017

Focus on preventing illness rather than incurring the expense of treatment....

Rand Water tightens the taps in Gauteng

In the Midvaal suburb where Sipho Mosai lives, the gardens are lush and green be...