Our Environmental team

offers skilled and practical advice for matters across this highly specialised field.

Impactful Matters

The CDH team's main strength is its "management ability, availability of specialists in each field when requested, accuracy of information supplied and their excellent relationship building."

Chambers Global 2020

Our practice has extensive experience in:

  • Legal compliance.
  • Due diligence investigations.
  • ISO 14001 implementation.
  • Environmental impact assessments.
  • Environmental litigation.
  • Legislative drafting and reviews.
  • Administrative appeals and objections.
  • Health and safety.
  • Land use.
  • Heritage law.
  • Advised Protea Holdings in a matter that involved the sale of all of the Protea Group's hotels in South Africa, Malawi, Tanzania and Nigeria. The team ensured environmental legal compliance of each of the South African, Malawian and Niegerian hotels, and where there was non-compliance as well as developed plans for resolving that and ensured transfer of all environmental permits and licences where that was necessary.

  • Advised Biotherm Energy (Pty) Ltd on the submission of various of its renewable energy projects in the South African government's Independent Power Producers Program. Ensuring bids were compliant and timeously submitted, resolving environmental legal queries and problems, assisting with the sale of one of its projects.

  • Advising EnviroServ on all aspects of legal compliance, responding to enforcement notices, dealing with potential prosecutions and assisting in environmental aspects of commercial transactions.

  • Assisting VTTI in obtaining all environmental authorisations necessary for the construction of the fuel storage facility, responding to objections from major fuel company (Chevron).

  • Advised the City of Cape Town, as they have been trying for 13 years to establish a regional landfill site that will serve City residents for 30 years. We guided the EIA process and have assisted the City in resisting attacks on that process by people opposed to the construction of a landfill site near them.

  • Advised ABSA, Standard Bank, Investec, Industrial Development Corporation, Nedbank and Development Bank of South Africa regarding the Ilangalethu CSP Project. The Project is one of the first Concentrated Solar Projects approved by the Department of Energy as part of the South African Independent Power Producers Program. Our environmental team assessed the Project's compliance with Environmental Law and the requirements of the South African Independent Power Producers Program and is assisting our client with contract negotiations to ensure the finance documents address sufficiently the Lenders' risk in respect of the Project's progress in complying with Environmental Law.

  • Advised Tau-Nkwe Mining and Projects (Pty) Ltd (TOPIGSSA (Pty) Ltd) regarding the objection to Prospecting and Mining Right Application. TOPIGSSA (Pty) Ltd submitted a prospecting right application over a property owned and used by TOPIGSSA (Pty) Ltd to operate a pig genetics production facility. The sustainability and success of our client's operations are intrinsically linked to bio-security management at its facility which will be materially threatened by prospecting and mining activities. Our Environmental Team is assisting TOPIGSSA (Pty) Ltd with administrative proceedings to oppose any prospecting or mining right applications that may affect its pig genetics production facility.

  • Advised Reneit Investments S.C.A. regarding the Jagersfontein Developments v Wheatfields Investments (Pty) Ltd matter. Reneit Investments S.C.A is a shareholder of Jagersfontein Developments (Pty) Ltd who conducts kimberlite tailings processing operations in Jagersfontein in the Free State ("Operations"). Our Environmental Team assisted with drafting the response to an application brought by Wheatfields Investments (Pty) Ltd and other applicants to interdict the Operations based upon an allegation that the Operations failed to, inter alia, comply with its licencing obligations under Environmental Law.

  • Assting Platinum Group Metals RSA (Pty) Ltd to defend objections to environmental consents it holds under Environmental Law to construct a Tailings Storage Facilities and general advice on its operations compliance with environmental legislation.
  • Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr is advising the City of Cape Town on a challenge to the authorisation of the establishment of a regional landfill site. This mandate is important as the City of Cape Town is running out of space in which to dispose of waste and it is critical that a new landfill site be established to ensure that adequate municipal services are supplied.

  • Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr is representing Lonmin, the UK-based producer of platinum group metals operating in the Bushveld Complex of South Africa. Our environmental team is advising this client in a transaction which involves an all-share offer under which Sibanye Gold Limited, trading as Sibanye-Stillwater, and/or a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sibanye-Stillwater, will acquire the entire issued and to be issued ordinary share capital of Lonmin by means of a scheme of arrangement between Lonmin and the Lonmin shareholders under the UK Companies Act. Reciprocal due diligences were undertaken, and our environmental team was required to conduct a due diligence across all of Sibanye's operations. Despite having to consider large volumes of documents and the extensive nature of Sibanye's operations, each with its own intricacies, this mandate was undertaken within a very strict timeframe.

  • Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr is representing Sappi Southern Africa, one of South Africa's largest and most successful paper and paper products manufacturers and a long-standing client of our firm. Our team is providing on-going advice to this client on its environmental legal operations compliance, including water use licensing and pollution control. Our advice to Sappi covers a wide range of environmental law issues, including authorisations required for water use at Sappi mills around South Africa.

  • Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr represented Capitalworks, the Johannesburg-based private equity fund. Our environmental team advised this client in respect of its offer for all or a portion of the issued shares in Sovereign Food Investments Limited, a poultry producer listed on the main board of the JSE, by way of a scheme of arrangement and a general offer and delisting of Sovereign Food. Our environmental team carried out a comprehensive environmental and regulatory due diligence to assess compliance across numerous and distinct operational sites. This included two abattoirs; a feed mill; a rendering plant and farms (including 13 breeders, two hatcheries and 13 broilers). A number of the sites have long been in operation and expanded their original footprints/capacities. This meant consideration of the various changes to environmental laws over the past 20 years and how such changes impacted on the lawfulness of the operations at the various sites. The abattoirs are also particularly complex operations, requiring consideration of technical regulations and standards.

  • Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr is representing EnviroServ Waste Management Limited (EnviroServ), the largest private waste management company in South Africa. Our environmental team is advising EnviroServ on all of the legal compliance issues linked to the establishment and operation of landfill sites; transfer stations; recycling facilities and incinerators; and the reduction of liability of those operations. We also assist where waste management facilities cause tension with neighbours.

  • Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr is representing Northam Platinum, an important client of our firm. Our environmental team is advising this client in its acquisition of the Eland Mine from Glencore South Africa Proprietary Limited and its joint venture partner. The Eland Mine is on care and maintenance and is scheduled to shortly recommence using new mining methods.

Practice Area Rankings

  • Chambers Global 2019-2020 ranked our Environmental practice in Band 2. Chambers Global 2011–2018 ranked our Environmental practice in Band 1 for Environmental law.