South Africa
Date of text
Sabin Center
Court name
High Court
Reference number
Climate Change

The South African High Court has remanded an administrative decision allowing urban development with instructions to more fully consider climate change impacts.

Since May 2011, the Province and City of Cape Town have taken steps to allow urban development in the Philippi Horticultural Area (PHA). The PHA Food and Farming Campaign and its convener, Nazeer Ahmed Sonday, challenged those actions on several grounds, including that development would threaten a local aquifer. On February 18, 2020 a judge of the South African High Court found that the Province and City had made several errors and remanded with instructions to, among other things, reconsider the decision's effect on existing rights related to the aquifer "in the context of climate change and water scarcity."

Key environmental legal questions

Petitioners challenged administrative decision allowing urban development.