It has become necessary to correct misinformation in the public space around the granting of environmental authorisation to Atha-Africa Ventures, to conduct coal-mining operations in the Mabola region of Mpumalanga. The environmental authorisation was issued in terms of section 48 of the National Environmental Management: Protected Areas Act (NEMPAA) 2003. A number of allegations have been made by nongovernmental organisations that the decision of the ministers of environmental affairs and mineral resources was irregular, that due regard was not given to the environmental effects of the said mining activity, that the decision was taken "in secret", and that the public was not consulted. The South African government is ever-mindful of the need to ensure that any development undertaken takes environmental considerations into account, and as such we have a comprehensive set of laws and policy instruments to ensure that all this country’s natural resources, including mineral resources, ...

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