South Africa Legal Environment

The court rejected the argument, citing an Australian decision concluding that EA applications are regulated under NEMA, read with the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA Regulations) Regulations 2014 and the listing notices published below. Three registration notices were issued to identify activities requiring an EA. Depending on the listed activities that a project will trigger, an EA applicant must either go through a shorter Baseline Assessment Report (BAR) process or a longer scoping and environmental impact assessment (S&EIA) process. Often, environmental due diligence begins with a documentary assessment that takes into account reports, audits, correspondence with relevant authorities, and interviews with employees. A Level 1 IEG (i.e. an EMI with the highest designation may issue notices of compliance if it has reasonable grounds to believe that a person has failed to comply with a law or authorization promulgated under this Act. An EMI may also issue guidelines for taking certain actions, including investigating environmental impacts or stopping certain activities if a person has caused or may cause significant pollution or deterioration. Typically, an individual receives a pre-compliance notice or pre-policy and has the opportunity to comment before the notice or policy is published in its final form. In particular, section 46 of ACAP provides that an information officer must grant a public body access to a public record the disclosure of which would reveal an immediate and serious risk to public safety or the environment. NEMA specifically emphasizes that access to information must be guaranteed in accordance with the law in order to achieve sustainable development (a principle that governs environmental protection – see 1.1 Key environmental policies and laws). This principle is based on the idea that it is much more costly to respond to crises only when they occur than to prevent or prevent them before they occur. This is the raison d`être of laws that regulate the generation, transportation, treatment, storage and disposal of hazardous waste, and laws that regulate the use of pesticides. It is also the basis of the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal (1989), which aimed to minimize the generation of hazardous wastes and combat illegal landfills.

The principle of prevention was also an important element of the third European Community action programme on the environment, adopted in 1983. While this EFFD-led process is deliberately referred to as “voluntary,” entities can benefit from collaboration with the EFDF if they are also carbon tax entities. Indeed, the legislative carbon tax system grants taxpayers who participate in DFFE`s voluntary carbon budgeting process an allowance to reduce their carbon tax obligation. As a result, early progress on voluntary carbon budget compliance (Phase 1 compliance) will prepare institutions – both financially and operationally – for when budgets become mandatory under the Climate Change Act. Article 24(b)(ii) requires that these measures “promote the conservation of nature.” This is fulfilled by “the various legal obligations of the state contained in the multitude of environmental laws and regulations promulgated before and after 1994.” [35] In fulfilling its constitutional mandate, the South African government is also required to comply with its international compliance and enforcement obligations. Agenda 21, one of the most important international environmental instruments, explicitly recognizes that strong institutions and specific compliance and enforcement programmes are important prerequisites for achieving the goal of sustainable development. This content was reaffirmed at the World Summit on Sustainable Development, held in Johannesburg in 2002.

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