Thobisa Simelane

Environment Not For Sale

Environmental law in Africa

Foreign investment can play a critical role in improving the economic conditions in developing countries. As a result, many African countries are keen to have foreign based companies invest and set up shop within their borders. Foreign investment is hardly free, in most cases foreign companies benefit in some or other way from operating in a foreign jurisdiction. They may benefit from a number of advantages including the natural resources such country has to offer, corporate tax rates, and from lax environmental laws. Where environmental laws are concerned, it may be that in the company’s country of origin there are… read more

Name And Shame

Nuclear_power_environmenal_collage

In many jurisdictions a distinction is made between company records that must be made available to the public by law, and records that companies may disclose at its own discretion. There has been some debate in the legal fraternity as to whether company documents pertaining to environmentally hazardous activity falls within the ambit of compulsory public disclosure. Looking at the nature and theme of records that are subject to compulsory public disclosure, the one underlying common factor is that disclosure of such records serves some or other public interest. For instance, laws of a country may require that a company disclose… read more

Living With Wind Farms

Living with Wind Farms

Innovative methods with which to generate energy are important in the fight against global climate change. That is why it is important for authorities to ensure that when these methods are introduced into society, they are well received and thus seamlessly integrated into the communities they are meant to service. Wind energy can be converted to mechanical energy using wind turbines, an alternative energy which lowers greenhouse gas emissions. Generating energy using wind turbines has not been without controversy, it has resulted in a number of lawsuits in some jurisdictions worldwide. The objection to wind farms stems from the noise… read more

Endorsing Green Products

Endorsing products to be green

Consumer protection law, simply explained, is a field charged with the responsibility of protecting the general public from any form of undue exploitation by retailers and service providers. With the dawn of “going green” trends globally, the consumer is being lobbied and bombarded with campaigns to migrate to green living. These rigorous campaigns have opened opportunity for false and misleading advertising. Many consumers are heeding the call to go green. Consequently, many people concern themselves with the environmental effects of the products they purchase for domestic use. This in turn has prompted many manufacturers to endorse their products with environmental… read more

Legal Loopholes

Legal loopholes

In contracts where two or more parties are from different jurisdictions, there usually is a choice of law stipulating which country’s laws will govern the contractual relationship. This practice is founded upon the widely recognised doctrine of party autonomy in contract law. National courts do not generally go against the wishes of the parties. There may however be instances where a court will not uphold a choice of law clause, a classic example being where the law as it applies to issues at hand is likely to yield results which are contrary to the policies of the country wherein the court… read more

Town Planning and Transport Efficiency

Public Transport benefits

In many developed countries public transport is so efficient that many people use it to get to and from work. Besides the economic benefits of using public transport, this choice of daily travel could potentially reduce carbon emissions. In Swaziland the use of public transport to travel to work has not taken root due to the inefficiency of our public transport system. Town planning and transport efficiency in our cities is increasingly becoming important. The way in which our towns are developed will now have to take into account the environmental implications of travel within the city, and also to… read more

Halting The Sands

Desertification, Africa

If you were to visit rural southern Africa you would likely experience the beauty of a primordial country life. The cows would be grazing, farmers would be in the fields, their irrigation sprinklers would be at work, and maidens would be collecting firewood from the nearby forest. At face value there is nothing wrong with the picture, however if you would multiply the activity described, and look forward by 10 years or so, the picture would change to a cover on a document entitled “The Leading Cause of Desertification”. The United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification focuses particularly on those African countries… read more

Swaziland Unplugs

Swaziland unplugs

Communication is a necessary element of human existence. It is arguably the most treasured ability that humans possess, so much so that there are many modes of communication and as much media. One such media is the telephone, invented by Alexander Graham Bell in 1876. Many homes and business entities in and around Swaziland have been using, and still use the telephone to communicate with other persons on a daily basis. The demand for telephones continues to rise, despite the popularity of other media such as email, cellular phone and social websites. In the past, a rise in demand meant… read more

Every Drop Is Vital

Water conservation

Water neutrality is a self explanatory, though misleading, concept. It basically refers to encouraging all water users to engage in normal day to day activity whilst using the least water as possible. This can be done by adopting water conservation measures that limit the use of water without compromising results attained by using water liberally. It is misleading in that water neutrality can never be achieved, not even theoretically. Unlike carbon emissions, water usage cannot be reduced to nil. Water neutrality can be achieved by developing and using technology that will minimize the use of water in human activity. It… read more

Bulk Importation of Booze Causes Concern

South African Wine Industry

South African wines are reknowned the world over. Wine makers particularly of the Western Cape region of South Africa export wines to numerous overseas territories. The way in which wine has been exported over the years is being challenged by the United Kingdom one of the biggest importers of South African wine, on environmental grounds. In past years, wines have primarily been exported by South Africa already bottled. The South African Fruit and Wine Industry Initiative reports that South Africa exports 412 million liters of wine every year, with 10% – 15% of that exported to the UK alone. In… read more