Below please find a summary of selected relevant environmental, health and safety and foodstuffs legal developments that took place during February 2021.
1) National Health Act
Draft Regulations relating to Standards for Emergency Medical Services
Draft Regulations were published for public comment. Their purpose is to promote and protect the health and safety of patients and health care personnel.
2) National Environmental Management Act
Adoption of Generic Environmental Management Programmes (EMPr’s)
Three Generic EMPr’s were adopted by the Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries dealing with the following:
– Working for Water Programme
– Working for Wetlands Programme
– Working for Ecosystems Programme
These are all government programmes. By the adoption of the generic EMPr’s the need to obtain an environmental authorisation prior to commencement of activities has fallen away.
The EMPr’s instead will regulate the activities and therefore act as environmental management instrument.
3) Air Quality Act
Draft Methodological Guidelines for Quantification of Greenhouse Gas Emissions
Draft Guidelines were published for public comment.
4) Protection of Personal Information Act
Commencement of Regulations (GN R 1383 of 2018)
By virtue of GN 75 of 26 February 2021 these Regulations will finally enter into force as follows:
– Reg 4: 1 May 2021
– Reg 5: 1 March 2021
– Residual Regulations: 1 July 2021.
Guidelines to Develop Codes of Conduct
Guidelines to develop Codes of Conduct in terms of section 65 of the POPI Act were published.
No relevant provincial legislation was published during this month.
5) eThekwini Metropolitan Municipality
The new Air Quality Management By-law and Scheduled Activities By-law entered into force on 13 February 2021.
Air Quality Management By-law
While this by-law does not deviate much from current local legal air quality management requirements the following are new:
- An owner or operator of fuel-burning equipment must (section 17):
– immediately register with the National Atmospheric Emission Inventory System (NAEIS) and submit emission data within a period determined by the municipality
– submit at least one calculated stack emission report per annum to theMu nicipality in a format as specified by the municipality
– provide any additional emission reports as may be requested by the municipality
– provide a maintenance plan per annum for all fuel-burning equipment
– produce annual records of ash management and its disposal thereof
– submit the first emission report to the municipality within 12 months from date of promulgation of the by-law.
- Any person who is conducting activities that are listed in Schedule A of the by-law or
any person that is conducting activities below the threshold set out in the Air Quality Act’s lengthy list of activities requiring an atmospheric emission licence (ie. GN R 893 of 2013) must register with NAEIS and submit emission data within a period determined by the Municipality. This means that even though a specified activity in terms of GN R 893 does not require a licence in terms of the Act because the threshold was not exceeded the activity must nonetheless be registered on NAEIS and also with the municipality. If the activity is not listed in GN R 893, but instead in Schedule A of the by-law then such dual registration is also required.
The following activities are identified in Schedule A:
- Acid Works
Ammonia work and transportation
Asphalt plant, permanent and mobile
Brick and tile works
Carbon black manufacturer
Cement products manufacturer
Chemical product processing
Chrome and chromate works
Coal bulk storage and handling
Hazardous substance [sic – it is unsure what exactly is meant by this]
Metal products manufacturer
Refining [sic – it is unsure which forms of refining are all included]
Vegetable oil extraction and processing
Waste material salvaging, collecting, sorting, shredding, storing, processing
Scheduled Activities By-law
Once in force this new by-law will repeal the current Scheduled Trades and Occupations By-law, 1979.
As with the current by-law a permit is required from the municipality if any scheduled activity is conducted. Existing permits will remain valid, but an application for new permit must be submitted within twelve months of the date of promulgation of the new by-law.
6) Oudtshoorn Local Municipality
The Integrated Zoning Scheme By-law was published.
7) City of Cape Town
The Nature Reserve By-law was published. This applies only to nature reserves managed by the City or a designated management authority where there is a co-management agreement in place.
8) Kouga Local Municipality
The Electricity By-law was published.
If you have any questions please feel free to contact us.
For the downloadable version of this newsletter please click here: Monthly SHE and Foodstuffs Legal Newsletter of what happened in February 2021