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South Africa loses bid to postpone coal mining hearing - Report

Coal News - Published on Mon, 22 Oct 2018

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The South African reported that the government has lost an attempt to side-step a High Court challenge to its controversial decision to allow coal mining in a protected area in the threatened Mpumalanga grasslands. Judge Norman Davis of the Pretoria High Court dismissed the state’s application to postpone indefinitely a review application being brought by a coalition of eight environmental and social justice groups. The coalition wants the joint permission given in 2016 by former Mineral Resources minister Mosebenzi Zwane and former Environmental Affairs minister, the late Edna Molewa, to mine coal in the Mabola Protected Environment to be set aside, and for the current ministers of those two portfolios to undertake a fresh assessment.

The state initiated its unsuccessful postponement application just hours before the main review hearing was due to start on morning. It brought the application because on Friday afternoon, Mpumalanga MEC for Environment Vusi Shongwe dropped a bombshell by publishing a Notice of intention to exclude four properties that make up the proposed coal mining area from the Mabola Protected Environment that had been declared early in 2014.

The state, taken by surprise by Shongwe’s action, argued in its postponement application that this development would make any decision in the review application moot.

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Posted By : Rabi Wangkhem on Mon, 22 Oct 2018
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