Adv. Kuben Samie (BSc Hons. LLB. Pr.Sci.Nat)
I offer the following legal services:
- High Court Litigation
- Appeals against Environmental Authorisations and Water Use Licences.
- Reviewing of Environmental Impact Assessments
Practice Areas include:
Environmental Law, Heritage Law, Animal Rights, Constitutional Law, Administrative Law
I want justice for my baby...
It was that fateful Sunday in April 2013. Little Jordan Lewis was happily playing with her cousins in an open field near their home in Delft on the Cape Flats. What seemed like an ordinary day for an ordinary child was to change drastically and fatally for Jordan. While playing, Jordan and her cousins came into contact with toxic chemicals that were illegally dumped in the open field.
Jordan’s death is proof that environmental laws in South Africa and the implementation thereof, are failing the most vulnerable individuals of our society: the young, the old, the poor and the marginalized. Her death is confirmation that the unlawful disposal of waste has become problematic and uncontrollable.
Jordan’s death has brought to light South Africa’s relatively nonchalant attitude to urban environmental crimes.
Improving your skill in EIA
Reviewing EIA reports is by no means an easy or comfortable task, especially if you are a case officer who reviews these reports on a daily basis. It can become monotonous at times, particularly if you have to review the same type of developments on a regular basis.
This can impair your judgement in the sense that you become accustomed to mediocrity and poor-quality reporting and your experience is restricted to certain types of developments rather than being exposed to a large variety of developments which can expand your knowledge and experience in the field of environmental impact assessments.
If you happen to be a member of the public or some other stakeholder having an interest in a particular EIA, you are faced with the challenge of reading through a report which at times may be confusing. You are also at a disadvantage in that you have to pit your local knowledge and experience with issues within your community against the professional experience of the EAP and the scientific knowledge and experience of the specialists involved in the assessment.
A reviewer has to possess a number of skills if he or she is to succeed in professionally reviewing an EIA report and contribute effectively to the process.
When should environmental screening take place?
Environmental screening should take place at the earliest stage of the project preparation or planning process. It is the first form of environmental appraisal of a proposed project.
It involves a cursory review and assessment of the environmental consequence of a proposed project. The fact that it is done so early in the project planning process means that there are no detailed assessments conducted at this stage and thus no significant resources are required to conduct screening.
Project proponents may even consider conducting environmental pre-screening, a process conducted even earlier in the project planning life cycle. This is usually at the project concept stage before the environmental screening process begins.
Environmental pre-screening of the project concept or draft can ensure that environmental considerations are integrated into the project design at an early stage.
The mandatory environmental screening process on the other hand must commence prior to submitting an application for environmental authorization in terms of the regulated EIA process.