Carmel Rickard's Column, "Municipalities Must Consider Broad Issues in Making Land Planning Decisions" (Cape Times, April 19), Concerns a Constitutional Court Judgment That Mining Rights Can Be Made Subject to Local and Provincial Government Veto, despite Legal Pressure from the Minister of Mineral Resources
Carmel Rickard's column, "Municipalities must consider broad issues in making land planning decisions" (Cape Times, April 19), concerns a Constitutional Court judgment that mining rights can be made subject to local and provincial government veto, despite legal pressure from the minister of mineral resources.
In this case, the minister claimed "unjustified intrusion into national interests" by the City of Cape Town.
The city successfully countered that the land was zoned for "open space", not mining, and used the Land Use Planning Ordinance (Lupo) to demonstrate the undesirability of mining in such an area with nearby housing and schools.
Maybe the same sort of argument could have been applied using the National Environmental Management Act, which sets out the framework for environmental management and decision-making to ensure that developments are socially, environmentally and economically sustainable.
However, as shown in the Cape Times on the same day, in Melanie Gosling's article "Wind farm gets green light, but some farmers see red", yet another wind farm near the West Coast has received approval from the Department of Environmental Affairs, regardless of significant adverse impacts on local people and the environment, and especially on local tourism - sadly, none of these being the apparent concern of the minister. …