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So.Africa: NGOs coalition successfully challenge decision to grant coal mining licence due to environmental concerns

Author: Ernest Mabuza, Times Live, South Africa 

"Victory for enviromentalists in battle over coal mine in Mpumalanga", 22 January 2019

The North Gauteng High Court on Tuesday refused mining company Atha Africa’s application for leave to appeal against a decision in 2018 setting aside permission for a new coal mine inside a declared protected environment. The judgment is seen as a victory by eight civil society organisations which have been opposing mining in the area - a strategic water source in Mpumalanga. The organisations believe that allowing mining there would threaten water security not only in the Wakkerstroom area but in the wider region...

In 2016, without public consultation and without notice to the coalition, the two ministers gave permission for a large, 15-year coal mine to be built inside the Mabola Protected Environment. The coalition challenged the decisions in the high court...The high court refused Atha's application. It also ordered Atha Africa to pay the legal costs of the coalition of civil society organisations which successfully opposed the application for leave to appeal.