ENVIRONMENTAL, HEALTH AND SAFETY AND FOODSTUFFS LEGAL UPDATE REPORT
Below please find a summary of selected relevant environmental, health and safety and foodstuffs legal developments that took place during February 2020.
1) Integrated Coastal Management Act
Section 11 of the Act entered into force on 7 February 2020. It deals with ownership of coastal public property and states that same vests in the citizens of the Republic and that it must be held in trust by the State on their behalf.
The section further declares that coastal public property is inalienable and cannot be sold, attached or acquired by prescription and rights over it cannot be acquired by prescription.
2) Department of Mineral Resources and Energy
- South African Biofuels Regulatory Framework
This Framework deals with the use of biofuels in the transport sector. It recognises that these are cleaner than conventional fuel, but admits that first generation biofuels (ie. those directly produced from crops) are more expensive than conventional fuel.
According to the introduction, globally, the use of biofuels as a transport fuel is enabled by national mandatory blending policies to reduce the negative environmental impact of transport fuel use. The cost of producing third generation biofuels production seems to be much lower but government policies are still required to support the blending of the biofuels. The framework takes cognisance of the financial viability of this sector and the requirement of subsidising it.
There are five aspects to the regulatory framework:
- Feedstock protocol:
This will regulate the agricultural production of biofuels feedstock to mitigate the risk of the biofuels programme to food security. Being a water scarce country, the feedstock protocol also prioritises projects that use rain-fed crops.
- Mandatory blending regulations:
The mandatory blending regulations came into effect in October 2015 and create certainty of biofuels demand by compelling licensed manufacturers and wholesalers of petroleum products to buy and blend locally produced bioethanol and biodiesel at a minimum of 2% of their petrol and 5% of their diesel market demand, respectively. In agreement with the South African Petroleum Industry Association (SAPIA) the biofuels transfer price will be set at the Basic Fuels Price (BFP) in these regulations. The fuel specifications for fuel grade biofuels and the blended transport fuels have been developed and gazetted. The definition of biofuels in the mandatory blending regulations will be amended to include second and third generation biofuels.
- Cost recovery mechanism for blending of biofuels:
The cost of new infrastructure and equipment required for blending will be recovered through the Regulatory Accounts System (RAS) or other mechanism that the Department may deem more appropriate.
- Biofuels subsidy mechanism:
Biofuels manufacturers will compete for the subsidy to be received. Since second and third generation biofuels do not create as many jobs as first generation biofuels, only first generation biofuels projects will be subsidised.
- The selection criteria for biofuels projects requiring a subsidy.
3) Foodstuffs, Cosmetics and Disinfectants Act
- Regulations governing the Maximum Limits for Pesticide Residues that may be present in Foodstuffs – Amendment
The above Regulations were amended by the insertion of some new definitions, the repeal of some definitions and extensive changes to the table in the Annexure.
4) National Water Act
- Determination of Water Resource Classes and Resource Quality Objectives for the Mzimvubu Catchment
This was published by the Department. A correction notice was subsequently brought out on 28 February 2020 rectifying various errors in the initial publication.
5) National Railway Safety Regulator Act
- Draft Railway Safety and Security Regulations
These draft Regulations were published for public comment.
- Draft National Railway Safety Standards Development Regulations
These draft Regulations were published for public comment.
6) Unemployment Insurance Act
- Amendment of 2002 Regulations
The 2002 Regulations were amended by the substitution of the definition of “identity document”.
7) Occupational Health and Safety Act
- Draft Commercial Diving Regulations
Draft Regulations were published for comment. Should they enter into force they will repeal the 2010 Regulations.
8) Meat Safety Act
Schedule 1 of the Act sets out a list of animals to which it applies. A draft amendment to Schedule 1 was published for comments.
9) Draft SANS 14067 (Ed 1) Greenhouse gases – Carbon footprint of products – Requirements and guidelines for quantification
This document was published for comment. It specifies principles, requirements and guidelines for the quantification and reporting of the carbon footprint of a product (CFP), in a
manner consistent with international standards on life cycle assessment (LCA) (ISO
14040 and ISO 14044). Should you require a copy please contact the SABS.
10) Draft SANS 17088 (Ed 1) Specifications for compostable plastics
This draft document was published for comment. It specifies procedures and requirements for the identification and labelling of plastics and products made from plastics that are suitable for recovery through aerobic composting.
No relevant provincial legislation was published during this month.
11) Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality
The following were published:
- Outdoor Advertising By-law
- Draft By-law on Buffalo City Fresh Produce Market – published for comment
12) Langeberg Local Municipality
The Events By-law was published.
13) City of Mbombela Local Municipality
The Spatial Planning and Land Use Management By-Law was published.
14) Zululand District Municipality
The Approved Municipal Health Services By-law was published.
15) Setsoto Local Municipality
The Public Passenger and Goods Transportation By-law was published.
If you have any questions please feel free to contact us.
Download PDF print version: Monthly Newsletter February 2020