Comment on Draft Critical Infrastructure Protection Bill 2016
GROUNDWORK AND SDCEA APPEAL COLENSO ENVIRONMENTAL AUTHORISATION
Durban & Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, 3 March 2016 – groundWork and the South Durban Community Environmental Alliance (SDCEA), represented by the Centre for Environmental Rights on 1 March 2016 launched an appeal to the Minister of Environmental Affairs against the environmental authorisation granted to Colenso Power (Pty) Ltd for its proposed coal-fired power station near the town of Colenso.
SASOL'S OFFSET PLAN CONDONES NON-COMPLIANCE
Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, 29 January 2016 – groundWork has submitted its comments to SRK Consulting who is, on behalf of its client Sasol, coordinating the plans for the company's offset program.
GROUNDWORK APPEALS NPC HAZARDOUS WASTE INCINERATOR
Port Shepstone, South Africa, 27 January 2016 – groundWork is appealing Natal Portland Cement’s environmental authorisation to burn ‘alternative fuels and resources’ at the company’s Simuma Works. This authorisation, granted by the MEC of the KwaZulu Natal Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs (EDTEA), as it exists is essentially a licence to operate a hazardous waste incinerator that can burn any industrial hazardous waste at the discretion of the licence holder.
ESKOM’S TARIFF CLAW BACK TO CRIPPLE RATEPAYERS
Durban, South Africa, 20 January 2016 – Eskom is asking for a tariff increase of about 8.6% in its Regulatory Clearing Account (RCA)  application to National Energy Regulator of South Africa’s (NERSA). If granted, this will bring the total 2016 tariff hike to 16.6%, sinking the poorest deeper into poverty and darkness.
Eskom’s requests for grossly inflated tariff hikes come round every year or, as in 2015, more than once a year. The energy utility has established a pattern of late and/or repeated application stretching back to 2008. This has the appearance of a tactic to forestall public consultation and put the National Energy Regulator of South Africa’s (NERSA) decision-making under pressure.
GROUNDWORK APPEALS 600MW KIPOWER (PTY) LTD COAL POWER STATION
Cape Town, South Africa, 10 December 2015 – On behalf of groundWork, the Centre of Environmental Rights (CER) has filed an appeal in terms of the Section 43 of the National Environmental Management Act, 1998 against the Integrated Environmental Authorisation for the proposed construction of a 600 megawatt coal-fired independent power plant and associated infrastructure for KiPower (Pty) Ltd. near Delmas in the Mpumalanga Province.
CLIMATE ‘CONTRIBUTIONS’ SPELL DISASTER FOR SOUTH AFRICA
Durban, South Africa, 27 August 2015 – In the lead up to the annual United Nations climate negotiations, the South African government has published its Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDC) discussion document , which states that South Africa is “firmly committed” to keeping global warming to less than 2˚C above pre-industrial levels. It adds that this target may be revised to “below 1.5˚C in light of emerging science, noting that global average temperature increase of 2˚C translates to up to 4˚C for South Africa by the end of the century”.
Today, in its submission  to the Department of Environmental Affairs in response to the INDC document, groundWork  states:
“Following climate scientist James Hansen, the 2˚C target is a recipe for disaster. With temperatures about 0.85˚C above pre-industrial levels, millions of people already experience climate change as disastrous. Intensified heatwaves, droughts and storms have affected all parts of the world. Already, the deaths of half a million people a year are directly attributable to climate change. That figure will rise steeply in the next decades.”
SASOL AND THE PROPOSED CARBON TAX
Durban, South Africa, 29 July 2015 – In May this year, business and industry made representations to the Davis Tax Committee on Treasury's proposal for to introduce a carbon tax. The tenor of their arguments were that no more should be done to mitigate emissions and this was backed up by the claim, based on Sasol's 'emissions outlook', that South Africa's emissions are 'below target'.
Here, we are posting links to:
- Sasol's presentation to the Davis Tax Committee,
- a note from Sasol on the assumptions and data for its 'emissions outlook', and
- our response to that note.
CIVIL SOCIETY AND COMMUNITY ORGANISATIONS TAKE ON MINERAL RESOURCES FOR AUTHORISING A COAL MINE INSIDE AN MPUMALANGA PROTECTED AREA
Cape Town, South Africa, 1 April 2015 - A broad-based coalition of eight civil society and community organisations launched an appeal to the Minister of Mineral Resources to set aside the Department of Mineral Resources’ decision to grant a mining right to a mining company inside a declared protected environment near Wakkerstroom in the Mpumalanga grasslands.
ESKOM'S APPLICATIONS TO DELAY COMPLIANCE WITH AIR QUALITY LAWS: CIVIL SOCIETY GROUPS RESPOND TO FURTHER INFORMATION SUBMITTED BY ESKOM
Cape Town, South Africa, 16 October 2014 – On behalf of a group of civil society and community organisations, the CER submitted to the National Air Quality Officer additional objections to Eskom's applications to postpone compliance with minimum emission standards commencing on 1 April 2015, to ensure that the decision-makers are in possession of relevant information, as required by the Promotion of Administrative Justice Act, 2000.
CIVIL SOCIETY AND COMMUNITY ORGANISATIONS CHALLENGE DRACONIAN SOUTH AFRICAN WEATHER SERVICE AMENDMENT BILL
Cape Town, South Africa, 23 January 2012 – Tomorrow, 24 January 2012, and 25 January 2012, Parliament will hold public hearings on the South African Weather Service Amendment Bill, 2011.
Many civil society and community organisations – groundWork, the South Durban Community Environmental Alliance (SDCEA), and the Vaal Environmental Justice Alliance (VEJA) - are particularly concerned about the offence the Amendment Bill proposes if an air pollution-related warning (which is not defined in the Bill) is issued without written permission from the South African Weather Service.
If the Bill is passed in its current format, this offence is likely to have negative implications for the environment, public health, and particularly, civil society participation in environmental governance and community information dissemination.
This page is under construction. Once complete it will contain links to groundWork responses to various public interest issues and policy documents.