Most Read

  • AI and retail: A South African conundrum
    AI and retail: A South African conundrum
    Artificial intelligence (AI) is being successfully deployed in the global retail sector, but it needs to be used carefully in the South African context, taking into account specific market characteristics. By Wendy Tembedza
  • Paula Hulley
    Paula Hulley, IAB SA CEO, steps down
    Haydn Townsend, IAB SA chair has announced that Paula Hulley, IAB SA CEO will not be renewing her contract into 2022.
  • Let’s Talk Digital is hosted by Audrey Naidoo
    Let's Talk Digital podcast launches on Bizcommunity
    This September, Let's Talk Digital, a new multimedia offering launches on Bizcommunity. The bi-weekly podcast, hosted by Audrey Naidoo and produced by Tyran De Beer, features conversations with leading voices in the SA digital marketing and media space.
  • Helen R. McIntee, president of the African Marketing Confederation
    The AMC announces relaunch
    The African Marketing Confederation (AMC) has announced its relaunch, with updated vision and goals. The AMC is a pan-African body of marketing professionals with the aim to bring national marketing bodies and associations of nine countries together.
  • Red & Yellow partners with Unilever on BCom in Marketing degree
    Red & Yellow partners with Unilever on BCom in Marketing degree
    A partnership between the Red & Yellow Creative School of Business and global FMCG giant Unilever looks to produce future-fit graduates ready for the challenging and rewarding world of marketing.
  • South Africa's proposed Startup Act to be revealed soon
    South Africa's proposed Startup Act to be revealed soon
    On 16 September, startup ecosystem stakeholders will be revealing the latest findings and plans towards the development of a proposed South African Startup Act - a call to the president to unleash the growth and innovation inherent in the country's entrepreneurs and youth. These findings, gathered over the past six months via desktop research, focus groups and research contributed by the World Bank, provide a holistic overview of the problems affecting the ability of startups to establish, grow and scale in South Africa.
  • Source: ©Andriy Popov
    The need to curb money laundering
    The Anti-Money Laundering (AML) market makes up a significant proportion of the global Gross Domestic Product (GDP), but the real issue is that money laundering is used to fund other illicit activities, such as smuggling, bribery, corruption, cybercrime, illegal arms dealing, human trafficking, modern slavery, and more. By Amit Singh
  • Henriëtte Loubser, Netwerk24's editor-in-chief
    Netwerk24 undergoing a metamorphosis
    Netwerk24, the acting digital home of Media24's Afrikaans titles, is moving to a new platform in early October. It will also be launching a brand new app.
  • Source:
    Netflix looks to support Black representation in Film & TV
    On 16 September 2021, Netflix announced a commitment of $400,000 (R5.5m) in the form of a grant and creation of scholarships to extend the support for Black representation in the Film & TV industry to the creative ecosystem in South Africa.
  • Net#work BBDO has a 'meltdown'
    Net#work BBDO has a 'meltdown'
    Everything has changed. That is a given. And so when Net#work BBDO moved into their new offices and started unpacking the 27 years of awards haul for the shelves, the leadership team had, well, a meltdown.
Show more
Advertise on Bizcommunity

Subscribe to industry newsletters

Judgement reserved in Thabametsi climate case

Judgment in South Africa's first climate change case, where Earthlife Africa (ELA) challenged the minister of environmental affairs' decision to uphold the environmental authorisation for the proposed Thabametsi coal-fired power station in Limpopo, was reserved last week.
Judgement reserved in Thabametsi climate case

ELA argues that:
  • the DEA granted the environmental authorisation for Thabametsi without adequate information about the station’s climate change impacts; and
  • on appeal by ELA, the minister of environmental affairs correctly called for a climate change impact assessment for the power station, but should have referred Thabametsi’s application back to the DEA to make a fresh decision about the authorisation, once properly informed by the findings of that climate impact assessment. Instead, the minister rejected ELA's appeal, thereby upholding the authorisation.

If ELA is successful, the authorisation for Thabametsi will be set aside and referred back to the DEA. The department will then need to consider the full and final climate change impact assessment, along with public comment thereon, before making a decision whether to re-issue the authorisation. Such an order by the court would also have wider implications for the consideration of climate impacts in the authorisation of future coal-fired power stations.

Despite the fact that Eskom has been reporting excess electricity capacity since May 2016, both the minister and Thabametsi argued in court that ELA’s position ignored economic considerations given South Africa’s “energy crisis” and developmental needs. ELA rejects the argument that its case has anything to do with energy security; instead, it contends that DEA needed to know what the power station’s climate change impacts would be before it could weigh these impacts up against any developmental needs.

It is also well established that climate change will significantly impact the country’s developmental needs, which include the need for water, clean air and clean energy, ELA said in a statement.

ELA also disputed arguments that the consideration of climate change impacts could be more appropriately dealt with through the Air Quality Act as part of the air emission licensing process, which process is dealt with by municipalities and not DEA.

Although greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are a significant contributor to climate change, climate change impacts are far broader than GHG emissions, as some of these impacts include increased water scarcity, more extreme weather events (such as droughts and flooding) and temperature increases.

Thabametsi’s own reports indicate that the power station, if it proceeds, would have an operational lifespan of 40 years. It would emit 8,2m tons of carbon dioxide equivalent each year, thereby contributing up to 2% to South Africa’s total GHG emissions by 2020, and up to 3,9% by 2050.

The power station would therefore contribute to climate change in South Africa and globally. South Africa’s own national climate change response policy confirms that the country is extremely vulnerable to the impacts of climate change.

Thabametsi still requires an air emission licence, a water use licence, and a licence to generate electricity from Nersa.
To celebrate Biz's 20th birthday month, get 20% off all rate card products:
Comment

Let's do Biz