Major court victory against ‘deadly air’ in South Africa’s most polluted region
One of the most important recent South African judgments on environmental law has delivered by the high court in Gauteng province. The case concerns a region of SA where high levels of air pollution risk the health of all the people living there. This is well-known to the government, but very little has been done about it. Now, environmental organisations have challenged the government’s inertia, and have won a major victory, with the court declaring that constitutional rights were breached by the failure to act.
This is a major environmental judgment, about whether air pollution is a violation of constitutional rights, and whether the court is entitled to issue orders to deal with the problem. Answering ‘yes’ to both these key questions, Judge Colleen Collis has written a long (130 pages) and tightly-framed decision.