Save Langebaan Lagoon Action Group is a community based organisation that was started to mobilize support in fighting further aquaculture development in Saldanha Bay and Langebaan Lagoon. Our aim is to prevent large scale mussel , oyster and finfish farming within the waters bordering the lagoon.
The department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) is proposing a 884 hectare aquaculture development zone in Saldanha Bay, which is the gateway to the lagoon. This development poses environmental and ecological disasters for the Langebaan Lagoon, a RAMSAR site and negative socio-economic implications for the town of Langebaan.
Despite Save Langebaan Lagoon’s submission of strong, substantiated legal grounds against the authorisations granted for the Aquaculture Development Zone, we were notified on the 7th June that the Minister of Environmental Affairs, Minister Molewa, has dismissed our appeal.
See the full decision here: Appeals decision
In short, this means that the Department of Agriculture Forestry and Fisheries may commence with the development of the ADZ and Molapong Aquaculture (Pty) Ltd and Southern Cross Salmon Farming (Pty) Ltd may commence their planned fish-farm activities within the ADZ, once they have complied with the conditions attached to the authorisations granted.
As you are aware, for the last year SLL has formally and vigorously opposed the ADZ and Molapong’s proposal, through the Environmental Impact Assessment process, on the behalf of our 1300 plus members. Our appeal submission was an internal remedy to the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA), the authority which granted the authorisations. We have now exhausted our internal remedies.
However, we now may approach the High Court and submit a Review Application to have the Court review the decision by the Minister. This external remedy will allow us to argue before the Court that the decision is a violation of our rights to just administrative action. The difference between internal remedies and the remedy of judicial review is that the judicial review is a review by a Court, which (importantly) is independent from the administration i.e. an unbiased forum.
If the court finds that the decision by Minister Molewa (the “administrator”) is unlawful, unreasonable or procedurally unfair it can make any of a number of possible orders to rectify the situation. These include:
• An order declaring the administrator's decision invalid;
• Ordering the administrator to reconsider the decision;
• Replacing the decision with the court's own decision; and
• Ordering the government to pay damages to the affected person/ organisation.
Save Langebaan Lagoon Committee will meet to formulate a plan as to next steps in stopping this looming ecological and socio-economic threat to Langebaan. We will post our plan on this site for your consideration. We will also hold a public meeting to get input on the way forward.
Our big fight has just begun and we urge you to get involved.