The South African Research Chair in Cities, Law and Environmental Sustainability (CLES) forms part of the Research Unit on Law, Justice and Sustainability of the Faculty of Law, North-West University.  The Chair is situated in Potchefstroom, South Africa. It forms part of the SARChI Initiative of the National Research Foundation of South Africa (NRF).

As an academic institution, CLES is devoted to legal scholarship and research skills development for sustainable urban development in South Africa, the broader African region and beyond.  To this end, the Chair is host to a many fulltime postdoctoral fellows and postgraduate students furthering their studies in the intersecting field of law, governance, urban development and environmental sustainability.  The Chairholder is Prof. Anél du Plessis, an established researcher in the field of local government, environmental law and sustainability governance.

It is the aim of CLES a) to produce and publish relevant research of an excellent standard through postgraduate dissertations and theses, scholarly journal articles, book chapters, books, reports and policy papers; and b) to actively participate in science engagement with policy makers, government officials, NGOs and any institution devoted to urban development and sustainable governance to ensure impact and to be of relevance.