Below please find a summary of selected relevant environmental, health and safety and
foodstuffs legal developments that took place during November 2019.
1) Integrated Coastal Management Act
- Draft Estuarine Management Plan – uMhlathuze/Richards Bay
A draft management plan was published by the national Department of Environmental Affairs for comment.
2) Animal Diseases Act
- Draft Bovine Brucollosis Control Policy
This was published for public comment.
3) Biodiversity Act
- Draft National Botanical Garden Expansion Strategy, 2019-30
This was published for public comment.
4) Occupational Health and Safety Act
- Draft Major Hazard Installation Regulations
These DRAFT Regulations were published for public comment. Once in force they would repeal the 2001 Major Hazard Installation Regulations. They are quite extensive and technical and a summary would therefore be difficult to compile. It is positively noted that the proposed Regulations make it far clearer what constitutes a MHI since the current ones are rather vague in this regard. We will gladly email you a copy of the draft Regulations.
5) National Environmental Management Act
- EIA Regulations – Draft Amendment
Regulation 54A deals with certain transitional arrangements pertaining to EIA’s when the 2014 Regulations were introduced. Regulation 34 requires an audit of the record and environmental management program (EMPr) by the latest 7 December 2019, and every five years thereafter.
The proposal is to amend this by removing these time frames by the Minister instead publishing a notice in the Government Gazette as to when the audit is due.
Please note: this proposal does not affect the current requirement to submit an audit by 7 December 2019 the latest.
6) Agricultural Products Standard Act
- Regulations relating to the Classification, Packing and Marking of Dairy Products and Imitation Dairy Products intended for Sale in the Republic of South Africa
These Regulations will enter into force on 22 August 2020, and will then repeal the 2015 Regulations (GN R 260 of 27 March 2015).
7) Agricultural Pests Act
- Control Measures relating to Honey-bees – Amendment
The 2013 Regulations were amended.
8) Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Regulations – Draft Amendment
Extensive draft amendments were published for comment dealing with matters like, for instance:
- New definitions
- Consultation with interested and affected parties
- Social and Labour Plan
- Environmental Regulations and Mine Closure Plans (several provisions are intended to be repealed)
- Pollution Control and Waste Management Regulations (it is intended to repeal several of these)
- Adding provisions dealing with the notice of profitability and curtailment of mining operations affecting employment
- Adding provisions dealing with the application for use of surface of land contrary to the objects of the Act
- Adding some provisions for the regulation on compensation payable under certain circumstances in terms of section 54
9) Critical Infrastructure Protection Act
This Act will repeal the National Key Points Act, but will only enter into force on a date to be determined by the President by proclamation in the Government Gazette.
10) Carbon Tax Act
- Regulations on Carbon Offsets
These Regulations were published on 29 November 2019, but are deemed to have come into
operation on 1 June 2019. An offset is defined as an avoidance, a reduction or a sequestration of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) emissions recognised in terms of an approved project. An offset must be allowed to a taxpayer derived from the furtherance of an approved project –
(a) that is carried on, on or after 1 June 2019 if that project is wholly undertaken in the Republic;
(b) in respect of an activity that is not subject to the carbon tax,
subject to the following:
- An offset in respect of an approved project in existence prior to 1 June 2019, in
respect of which the activities become subject to tax on or after that date under the Carbon Tax Act, other than any project mentioned in regulation 4(1)(a) and (b) constitutes an offset for the purpose of these Regulations only if the offset would have been able to be used as an offset, notwithstanding subregulation (1)(b), under these Regulations up to 31 May 2019 had these Regulations been in operation on or before that date if that offset is utilised for the purpose of these Regulations on or before 31 December 2022.
- An offset in respect of an approved project existing prior to 1 June 2019, in respect of which the activities do not become subject to tax on or after that date under the Carbon Tax Act, may be utilised for the purposes of these Regulations until the end of the period, specified in regulation 3(1), during which the greenhouse gas emission reductions must be verified and certified under the provisions of the approved project.
Regulation 3 sets out when an offset is created and for which type of project (eg. CDM, Gold Standard, VCS).
Regulation 4 sets out various energy related projects for which no offset is possible.
The Regulations make provision for the creation of an Offset Registry which will contain a project database and details of offsets.
Regulation 8 explains how an allowance must be claimed, namely by registration on the Registry and the submission of various information. Once approved a certificate will be issued.
11) Limpopo Province – Intention to publish Bioregional Plans in terms of the Biodiversity Act
A notice of intention to publish bioregional plans for the Capricorn District Municipality was published for comment.
No other relevant provincial legislation was published during this month.
12) Umzimvubu Local Municipality
The Public Road and Miscellaneous By-law was published.
13) Sarah Baartman District Municipality
The draft Coastal Management Programme was published for comment.
14) eDumbe Local Municipality
The Pound By-law and Outdoor Advertising By-law were published.
15) Matzikama Local Municipality
The following relevant new by-laws were published:
- Coastal Management By-law
- By-law on the Keeping of Animals
- By-law relating to Outdoor and Tourism Advertising and Signage.
16) Mossel Bay Local Municipality
The following by-laws were amended:
- Municipal Land Use Planning By-law
- Integrated Zoning Scheme By-law.
17) Lesedi Local Municipality
The Nuisances and Behaviour in Public Places By-law was published. It is, however, unsure whether this is the final version since it still contains some highlights. The schedule which is supposed to list by-laws to be repealed was not published. The by-law further states that the municipality was established in terms of a KwaZulu-Natal provincial Gazette notice despite it being located in Gauteng. This is just one further example of the shocking quality of legal drafting and incompetence which we are unfortunately seeing more and more of.
18) Oudtshoorn Local Municipality
A notice of intention to adopt an Integrated Zoning Scheme By-law was published.
If you have any questions please feel free to contact us.