More than 100 people picketed outside the Pretoria High Court on Monday to show solidarity with the “deadly air” case, which marked the first day of the proceedings.
This case deals with air pollution in Mpumalanga High Belt. This was brought about by two environmental activist organizations, groundWork and Vukani Environmental Justice Movement in Action (VEJMA). They are represented by the Environmental Rights Center.
The organization has requested the court to order Barbara Creecy, Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and Environment to address pollution.
Mpumalanga, home of 12 coal-fired power plants at Escom Ranking Nitrogen dioxide and sulfur dioxide emissions from Greenpeace in 2019 are one of the worst hotspots in the world.
Earthlife Africa coordinator Taboshibeko, who was outside the courtroom, spoke to the crowd saying that many would die on the high belt due to pollution from coal-fired power plants.
Shibeko told GroundUp that many children would not go to school during the winter because of pollution-related illnesses.
Palesa Ntaopane of Sasolburg said the Natref refinery is a big problem for them. “When you are at home, when you are in your room, you can see flares, and sometimes this strange smell, and it affects us. Most people It really makes me sick. ”
Ntaopane blames sinus problems on pollution.
Nandie Khanye from Ogies, Mpumalanga, said there are four mines and two power plants around her community. “When I wake up every morning, there is black dust in the garden. Everywhere. There is no more fresh air,” Kanye said.
Emalahleni’s VEJMA Coordinator Promise Mabilo said:[The lawyers] Supporting the community. What they want is the enforcement of legislation to ensure that the people of Hibelt live in a healthy environment. ”
Advocate Stephen Badrender argued in court that the harmful air quality of Hibert was unconstitutional for the people living and working in the area.
Budlender said 10,000 people die annually as a result of poor air quality in Mpumalanga, according to the Department of Environment’s own reports.
“This is the case when the department’s own research states that there is a problem … and the problem is that there is an ineffective implementation,” Budlender said.
He said the burden of health consequences was greatest on poor people who had nowhere else to live, depended on work in the area and did not receive adequate medical care.
The department was published in the official bulletin Highveld Priority Area Air Quality Management Plan In 2012, it launched a plan to reduce air pollution in Mpumalanga to levels that comply with national standards.
However, according to Budlender, nine years later, none of the goals set in this plan have been achieved.
Budlender said the court should order the minister to enforce regulations to implement the Highveld program.
The case will continue on Tuesday with state claims.
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“The air we breathe is killing us”: The “deadly air” case finally goes to the High Court
Source link “The air we breathe is killing us”: The “deadly air” case finally goes to the High Court