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Media Advisory: SAHRC Eastern Cape Provincial Office to conduct a stakeholder engagement on Environmental Rights Transgressions

Attention: Editors and Reporters

2 August 2022

In July 2022, the UNGA declared that everyone has a right to a healthy environment, and affirmed that climate change and environmental degradation were some of the most pressing threats to humanity. The South African Human Rights Commission (“Commission/SAHRC”) in the Eastern Cape is actively investigating and monitoring alleged human rights violations in respect of section 24 of the Constitution which determines that everyone has the right to an environment that is not harmful to his or her health or well-being.

The Commission has however noted several alleged transgressions within the Province in respect of the National Environmental Management Act 107 of 1998 (NEMA). As per the latter legislation, many of these matters must be criminally investigated and prosecuted. The Commission has nevertheless been made aware of an apparent reluctance or hesitance from enforcement authorities to make progress on matters reported to them.

In view thereof the Commission, under the leadership of Commissioner Adv JB Sibanyoni who will be visiting the Province as part of an oversight activity, will host a stakeholder engagement to discuss the challenges experienced in investigating and prosecuting matters relating to NEMA. The Commission will be joined by the South African Police Service, the National Prosecuting Authority as well as the Department of Environmental Affairs within the Province, to deliberate on these concerns.

The stakeholder engagement is scheduled to take place as follows:

Date: 3 August 2022

Venue: Eastern Cape SAHRC Boardroom (East London)

Time: 14h00-15h30

Prior to this engagement, the Commission will conduct site inspections in Nompumelelo as well as areas adjacent to the Nahoon Estuary so as to monitor compliance of local authorities to court orders obtained iro the right to a healthy environment. The inspections will commence at 11h00 and will also be led by Commissioner Adv JB Sibanyoni.

The Commission echoes the declaration of the UNGA that the right to a healthy environment is a most pressing and urgent matter in society, and is confident that the inspections as well as stakeholder engagement focused on this constitutional right, will elevate and highlight its importance within the Province.


For further information, contact the SAHRC Provincial Manager, Dr Eileen Carter @ 043 722 7828/072 638 9016 or email on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and Advocacy and Research Officer, Zukiswa N Mqakanya @ 043 722 7828 or email on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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The Human Rights Commission is the national institution established to support constitutional democracy. It is committed to promote respect for, observance of and protection of human rights for everyone without fear or favour.

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