Minister Barbara Creecy applies for leave to appeal on air quality challenges in Mpumalanga Highveld Area
Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment, Ms Barbara Creecy applies for leave to appeal portions of judgment in favour of NGOs on air quality challenges in Mpumalanga Highveld Area
Minister for Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment, Ms Barbara Creecy has filed papers in the Gauteng Division of the High Court seeking leave to appeal certain portions of the judgments handed down on 18 March related to the Highveld Priority Area.
In her affidavit, the Minister states that leave to appeals is being sought on a limited basis and cognisant of her statutory and Constitutional duties.
Minister Creecy states that it not her intention to use the appeal process to delay the drafting of regulations and that the process will continue independently of any appeal.
The application for leave to appeal is against four orders that are predicated upon an interpretation of Section 20 of the Air Quality Act, which holds that the Minister is merely vested with a discretion to prescribe regulations, but is under a duty to do so.
The affidavit states that the proper interpretation of Section 20 of the Air Quality Act is of wider significance. This is because there are several statutes within the environmental sphere and for which the Minister is responsible which contain similarly worded regulation-making powers. It is therefore important, beyond this case, to determine whether these powers also entail not merely a discretion, but also a duty.