Minister Edna Molewa notes High Court Judgment on the Thabametsi Mine Environmental Authorisation

13 March 2017


The Minister of Environmental Affairs, Dr. Edna Molewa, has noted the judgment handed down by the North Gauteng High Court on 8 March 2017 regarding the Environmental Authorization for the Thabametsi coal-fired power station in the Limpopo Province and is considering what the next steps will be, following the judgment.

The court has ordered, inter alia, that the matter be remitted back to the Minister for decision-making for consideration of a Climate Change and Paleontological Impact Assessment.

In keeping with the Court’s direction, it must be noted that the Paleontological Impact Assessment has already been conducted. A Climate Change Impact Assessment has also already commenced and has gone out for public comment and these respective assessments will be submitted to the Minister in the coming months in order to assist her in making a decision.

The Department is committed to ensuring that the Constitutional rights of South Africans to an environment that is not harmful to their health and well-being is always taken into consideration, whilst ensuring that economic growth is not hampered.

The Department’s plan is to further assist in identifying and promoting cleaner power generation technologies in the medium and longer term, but must stress that, in order for the country to meet its long-term electricity demand, a mix of power generation technologies must be pursued. This includes coal-fired power.

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