31 December 2006


Book review


Issues of environmental law in the South African context once more characterise this final issue of 2006.

  • Couzens and Dent, both from the University of KwaZulu-Natal, extensively discuss shortcomings that occurred in the process of authorization of the building of a dam that will have implications for some ecosystems in the Kruger National Park. Alternative dispute resolution, as provided for in the National Environmental Management Act (NEMA) emerges as a likely means for the resolution of the difficulties and under the creative title "Finding NEMA", the authors express the hope that much will in future be learnt from the errors that occurred in this case.

  • Paterson from the University of Cape Town explores the possibilities of the employment of market-based instruments (such as taxes, levies and charges) for the purposes of environmental management in South Africa, and concludes that such mechanisms hold promise, although they are difficult to balance and are not to be used as sole mechanism. The author recommends that South Africa should draw on foreign experience in this regard.

  • Professor Feris of the University of Pretoria examines the newly created administrative remedy of compliance notices that may be issued by environmental management inspectors for the purposes of the enforcement of environmental laws. She concludes that this is a mechanism that may play an important role in future and expresses the hope that it will eventually be utilized broadly.

  • Professor Kidd of the University of KwaZulu-Natal points out various weaknesses in environmental adjudication in South Africa, partly due to the newness of much of the applicable legislation and argues that the development of a coherent and robust South African environmental jurisprudence depends on a sound understanding by lawyers and judges of the scientific dimensions of environmental protection.

  • Finally, Anél du Plessis (Potchefstroom) reviews Bernard Bekink's recently published book Principles of South African Local Government Law.

Editor: Professor Francois Venter / Guest editor: Professor Louis Kotzé

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