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The Interface between Human Needs and Environmental Protection: The Case of Thyspunt, South Africa

L Snodgrass, G Potts


The case study which is the focus of this article is the proposed development of a nuclear power plant at Thyspunt in the Eastern Cape which has become a
contentious environmental dispute. The case examines the perceptions of key stakeholders, namely members of the St Francis Residents and Ratepayers Association, which is one of the most active and involved groups in this dispute. The study reveals that environmental disputes have the potential to lead to intractable conflict because the clashes between the disputing parties involve not only interests, but deeply held values and
needs which cannot easily be reconciled.

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