Rezoning ruling highlights the importance of due diligence

In Maccsand v City of Cape Town (CCT 103/11) [2012] ZACC 7 and Minister for Mineral Resources v Swartland Municipality and Others (CCT 102/11) [2012] ZACC 8 (12 April 2012):


According to the press summary of this Constitutional Court judgement, in October 2007 the Minister for Mineral Resources granted Maccsand a mining permit in respect of the Rocklands Dune in Mitchells Plain, Cape Town. In August 2008, the same minister issued a mining right to the same business in respect of the Westridge Dune, also in Mitchells Plain.


Both dunes are zoned as public open spaces in terms of the relevant provincial legislation. This means that mining cannot be carried out on them until they are appropriately rezoned.


In February 2009, Maccsand started mining operations without having the dunes rezoned. When the City of Cape Town pointed out that the mining was not being carried our legally, Maccsand contended that it was mining in terms of the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act 28 of 2002 (national law MPRDA). The matter was then litigated to the Constitutional Court.

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