Pretoria University Law Press (PULP)

PULP is an open-access publisher based at the Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria

Compendium of South African Environmental Legislation

Compendium of South African Environmental Legislation - Second Edition
Edited by Morné van der Linde and Loretta Feris
2010
ISBN: 978-0-9814420-6-8
Pages: vi 690
Print version: Available
Electronic version: Free PDF available

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About the publication

The Compendium introduces and reproduces the main legislative provisions dealing with the environment in South Africa.

Historically, integrated environmental management and its enforcement, from a regulatory approach, was virtually absent and any attempt made to protect the environment or matters inherent thereto can be described as both reactive and of an ad hoc nature.

Although various regulatory norms relating to environmental protection and management can be traced back, as early as the 1940s, the first concerted effort to provide for environmental management in a more holistic approach, materialized through a legislative framework: The Environmental Conservation Act, Act 73 of 1989. In furtherance of the objectives of this act, the former Environmental Impact Assessment Regulations were promulgated during September 1997 which partially resulted in a more proactive approach to mitigating and managing any potential adverse impacts on the environment through developmental processes.

Despite the initial positive approaches to regulating, protecting and managing the environment, various problems remained and South African Environmental Law remained inadequate and ineffective especially when aspects such as administration, governance, norm setting, enforcement and judicial action were critically considered and evaluated. This position, however, changed with the inclusion of section 24 (the environmental right) into the South African Constitution, Act 108 of 1996. The Constitution afforded every person with the right to an environment which is not harmful to their health and well-being. Not only was every person entitled to enjoy this right, but the Constitution also placed a constitutional mandate on government to protect the environment through reasonable legislative and other measures that prevent pollution, ecological degradation, promote conservation and secure ecological sustainable development and the use of natural resources while promoting justifiable economic and social development.

In order to give effect to the aforesaid constitutional mandate, South African environmental law has been subjected to an intense revision process since 1996. The first law that was promulgated to give effect to this constitutional mandate was the National Environmental Management Act 107 of 1998. The National Environmental Management Act can be described as one of the most progressive developments in environmental norm setting which guides individuals, institutions and government in environmental decision making. Furthermore it provides for a range of key elements such as environmental principles, co-operative governance, a duty of care, enforcement mechanisms and integrated environmental management. In an approach to strengthen this framework law, various other specific environmental management acts have been promulgated which includes the promulgation of the National Environmental Management: Waste Act as recent as 2008. In addition to specific environmental management legislation promulgated, South African Environmental law has seen numerous positive contributions through both the revision of, and amendments to, laws regulating diverse thematic areas such as conservation, pollution, mining and water management.

The objectives of the second edition of this Compendium remains essentially the same in that it serves as a quick reference guide to provide counsel, representatives of other interrelated disciplines with a quick, easy and user friendly reference guide to laws and norms applicable to environmental management in South Africa.

A number of people were instrumental in making the first Compendium a reality and we specifically again would like to extend our appreciation and thanks to: Christof Heyns (Dean: Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria); Lizette Besaans (Pretoria University Law Press); the United Nations Environment Programme; and the Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism (DEAT) (South Africa).

In addition, we specifically extend our appreciation and thanks to Lizette Besaans (Pretoria University Law Press) and the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA)(South Africa) for their invaluable assistance and contributions which resulted in this 2nd edition of the Compendium.

About the editors:

Morné van der Linde is an advocate of the High Court of South Africa.
Loretta Ferisr Associate Professor of Law at the Institute for Marine and Environmental Law at the Faculty of Law, University of Cape Town.


Table of Contents

FOREWORD (By Ian Farlam)
FOREWORD (By Bakary Kante)
INTRODUCTION

  1. CONSTITUTIONAL PROVISIONS RELEVANT TO THE ENVIRONMENT
    Constitution of the Republic of South Africa
  2. LEGISLATIVE FRAMEWORK PROTECTING THE ENVIRONMENT
    2.1 Table of legislation relevant to environmental protection
    2.2 Selected South African environmental legislation
    2.2.1 South African framework environmental legislation
    2.2.1.1 National Environmental Management Act
    2.2.1.2 National Environmental Management Act: Protected Areas Act
    2.2.1.3 National Environmental Management Act: Biodiversity Act
    2.2.1.4 National Environmental Management Act: Air Quality Act
    2.2.1.5 National Environmental Management Act: Waste Act
    2.2.1.6 National Environmental Management Act: Integrated Coastal Management Act
    2.2.1.7 Environment Conservation Act
    2.2.2 Conservation and natural resources
    2.2.2.1 Biodiversity
    2.2.2.1.1 National Environmental Management: Protected Areas Act
    2.2.2.1.2 National Environmental Management: Biodiversity Act
    2.2.2.2 Forests
    2.2.2.2.1 National Forest Act
    2.2.2.2.2 National Veld and Forest Fire Act
    2.2.2.2.3 National Environmental Management: Protected Areas Act
    2.2.2.2.4 National Environmental Management: Biodiversity Act
    2.2.2.3 Water
    2.2.2.3.1 National Water Act
    2.2.2.3.2 Water Services Act
    2.2.2.3.3 National Environmental Management: Protected Areas Act
    2.2.2.3.4 National Environmental Management: Biodiversity Act
    2.2.2.4 Agriculture
    2.2.2.4.1 Conservation of Agricultural Resources Act
    2.2.2.4.2 Genetically Modified Organism Act
    2.2.2.4.3 Agricultural Laws Rationalisation Act
    2.2.2.4.4 National Environmental Management: Protected Areas Act
    2.2.2.4.5 National Environmental Management: Biodiversity Act
    2.2.2.5 Animals
    2.2.2.5.1 Animals Protection Act
    2.2.2.5.2 Sea Birds and Seals Protection Act
    2.2.2.5.3 Societies for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act
    2.2.2.5.4 Animal Improvement Act
    2.2.2.5.5 Animal Identification Act
    2.2.2.5.6 Animal Health Act
    2.2.2.5.7 National Environmental Management: Protected Areas Act
    2.2.2.5.8 National Environmental Management: Biodiversity Act
    2.2.2.6 Fisheries
    2.2.2.6.1 Marine Living Resources Act
    2.2.2.6.2 National Environmental Management: Protected Areas Act
    2.2.2.6.3 National Environmental Management: Biodiversity Act
    2.2.2.7 Land
    2.2.2.7.1 Environment Conservation Act
    2.2.2.7.2 Environment Conservation Extension Act
    2.2.2.7.3 Environmental Laws Rationalisation Act
    2.2.2.7.4 National Environmental Management Act
    2.2.2.7.5 National Environmental Management: Integrated Coastal Management Act
    2.2.2.7.6 National Environmental Management: Protected Areas Act
    2.2.2.7.7 National Environmental Management: Biodiversity Act
    2.2.3 Pollution
    2.2.3.1 Land Pollution
    2.2.3.1.1 National Environmental Management Act
    2.2.3.1.2 National Environmental Management: Waste Act
    2.2.3.1.3 National Environmental Management: Integrated Coastal Management Act
    2.2.3.1.4 Hazardous Substances Act
    2.2.3.1.5 Foodstuffs, Cosmetic and Disinfectant Act
    2.2.3.1.6 Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act
    2.2.3.1.7 Nuclear Energy Act
    2.2.3.1.8 Nuclear Regulator Act
    2.2.3.1.9 Conservation of Agricultural Resources Act
    2.2.3.1.10 Fertilisers, Farm Feeds, Agricultural Remedies and Stock Remedies Act
    2.2.3.1.11 Agricultural Pests Act
    2.2.3.2 Atmospheric Pollution
    2.2.3.2.1 Atmospheric Pollution Prevention Act
    2.2.3.2.2. National Environmental Management: Air Quality Act
    2.2.3.3 Noise Pollution
    2.2.3.3.1 The Aviation Act
    2.2.3.4 Pollution of Fresh Water
    2.2.3.4.1 National Water Act
    2.2.3.4.1 National Environmental Management: Waste Act
    2.2.3.5 Marine Pollution
    2.2.3.5.1 National Environmental Management: Integrated Coastal Management Act
    2.2.3.5.2 Marine Living Resources Act
    2.2.3.5.3 Marine Pollution (Control and Civil Liability) Act
    2.2.3.5.4 Marine Pollution (Intervention) Act
    2.2.3.5.5 Marine Pollution (Prevention of Pollution from Ships) Act
    2.2.3.5.6 Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act
    2.2.3.5.7 Wreck and Salvage Act
    2.2.3.6 Pollution from Land-based Activities
    2.2.3.6.1 National Environmental Management: Integrated Coastal Management Act
    2.2.3.6.2 National Environmental Management: Waste Act
    2.2.3.6.3 National Water Act
    2.2.3.7 Waste Management
    2.2.3.7.1 National Environmental Management: Waste Act
    2.2.3.7.2 Hazardous Substances Act
    2.2.3.7.3 National Water Act
    2.2.3.7.4 Health Act
    2.2.3.7.5 Occupational Health Safety Act
    2.2.4 Energy and energy resources
    2.2.4.1 Electricity
    2.2.4.1.1 Electricity Regulation Act
    2.2.4.2 Energy
    A. Nuclear Energy
    2.2.4.2.1 Nuclear Energy Act
    2.2.4.2.2 National Nuclear Regulator Act
    B. Gas
    2.2.4.2.3 Gas Act
    C. Liquid Fuels
    2.2.4.2.4 Liquid Fuels and Oil Act Repeal Act
    2.2.4.2.5 Petroleum Products Act
    D. Mining
    2.2.4.2.5 Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act
    2.3Table of relevant cases
  3. MULTILATERAL ENVIRONMENTAL AGREEMENTS WHICH SOUTH AFRICA HAS RATIFIED/ACCEDED TO
    3.1Selected Global Multilateral Environmental Agreements: United Nations and Other Treaties
    3.2Regional Multilateral Environmental Agreements: African Union and SADC Treaties/Protocols
    3.2.1 African Union
    3.2.2 Southern African Development Community (SADC)
    3.3Other Regional Agreements
    Transfrontier Conservation Areas Initiatives
  4. USEFUL WEBSITES DEALING WITH ENVIRONMENTAL LAW

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