December 2021

To download and / or print this newsletter please click on this link: Monthly SHE and Foodstuffs Legal Newsletter of what happened in December 2021

Dear Clients,

Below please find a summary of selected relevant environmental, health and safety and foodstuffs legal developments that took place during December 2021.


1) Waste Act

• Extender Producer Responsibility Regulations & Notices – Draft amendments
Draft amendments were published for public comment. They aim to introduce the requirement that an annual summary audit report must be submitted by the board of directors of the producer or the producer responsibility organisation.

It is further proposed to exclude lead acid batteries from the electrical and electronic equipment notice.

The paper, packaging and some single use products notice would be amended by the insertion of a definition of “beverage” (these would be alcoholic and non-alcoholic liquids, but excluding pharmaceutical liquids). In addition, a definition of “reuse target percentage” would be included – this would apply to producers who place in excess of 100 000 tons of beverage glass packaging on the market annually. The year target list for different packaging products or classes of products would also be amended.

2) National Heritage Resources Act

• Draft Regulations
Draft Regulations were published for public comment.

3) National Environmental Management Act

• Consultation on intention to amend the section 24H Registration Authority Regulations, 2016
Draft amendments to amend the 24H Registration Authority Regulations, 2016, were published for public comment. In short, these Regulations deal with the registration of environmental assessment practitioners and prescribe that only a registered (and thus qualified) practitioner may perform an EIA.

The draft amendment proposes to extend the scope of the Regulations by making them applicable to the following:

– An application for an environmental authorisation in terms of NEMA and the EIA Regulations
– An application in terms of section 24G of NEMA (this deals with the rectification of an unlawful activity)
– An application for a waste management licence in terms of the Waste Act
– An application for an atmospheric emission licence in terms of the Air Quality Act
– Strategic environmental assessments, environmental management programmes or any other appropriate environmental management instruments introduced through Regulations
– An appeal contemplated in terms of section 43 of NEMA relating to an application, strategic environmental assessments, environmental management programmes or any other appropriate environmental management instruments.

The proposal is that only a registered environmental assessment practitioner may perform tasks in connection with the above.

4) National Railway Safety Regulator Act

• Draft Verbal Safety Critical Communication Standard (VSCC)
This draft Standard was released for public comment. According to its introduction the purpose of the Standard is to outline the minimum requirements for the management of VSCC, including the framework to be implemented for safety related personnel in the execution of their operational activities. It seeks to explain the level of VSCCs required for safety related
personnel within the railway industry in South Africa.



5) Western Cape

• Western Cape Biodiversity Act
This Act only enters into force on a date to be proclaimed in the Provincial Gazette. Once this is the case it repeals the following laws in so far as they are applicable to the Western Cape:

– Sea Shore Act, 21 of 1935
– Mountain Catchment Areas Act, 63 of 1970, to the extent that it has been assigned to the Province by Proc R28 of 1995
– Nature Conservation Ordinance, 19 of 1974
– Nature Reserves Validation Ordinance, 3 of 1982
– Western Cape Nature Conservation Board Act, 15 of 1998
– Western Cape Nature and Environmental Conservation Ordinance Amendment Act, 8 of 1999
– Western Cape Nature Conservation Laws Amendment Act, 3 of 2000
– Western Cape Biosphere Reserves Act, 6 of 2011.
It deals extensively with matters relating to Cape Nature. In addition, it covers the Biodiversity Spatial Plan that Cape Nature will have to draw up. Protected areas, mountain catchment areas, biodiversity stewardship and biosphere reserves are also regulated. Lastly, the protection of ecosystems, ecological infrastructure and protected species are dealt with. Anything regulated by the Act will require an authorisation from Cape Nature.

6) Mpumalanga

• Department of Agriculture, Rural Development, Land and Environmental Affairs – Environmental Implementation Plan (EIP) (2020 – 2025)
The EIP covering the period 2020 to 2025 was released by the Department. In terms of section 11 of the National Environmental Management Act each government department must regularly draw up such a plan.

No other relevant provincial legislation was published during this month.



7) Ntabankulu Local Municipality
The draft Spatial Planning and Land Use Management By-law was published for comment.

The municipality also promulgated Trading Regulations.

8) Walter Sisulu Local Municipality
The Spatial Planning and Land Use Management By-law was published.

9) City of Cape Town Metropolitan Municipality
The Animal Keeping By-law was published. It repeals the 2010 Animal By-law.

Although the by-law does regulate several important animal welfare issues, nuisances, slaughtering, working animals, animal fighting etc it is probably, in our opinion, one of the more absurd by-laws promulgated in the past few years.

The most contentious provision will probably be section 3(1) which requires that all dogs and cats (male and female) over six months of age must be sterilized, unless the owner obtains a permit from the City to keep the animal unsterilized.

The by-law reintroduces the previously abolished pet tax system. Section 25(1) states that a permit must be obtained for every dog or cat older than six months.

The by-law also allows the City to determine the number of animals that may be kept on any premises. In the absence of a determination no person may keep more than –

• two dogs, or allow more than two dogs, over the age of six months, to be kept in or at a dwelling unit
• three dogs, or allow more than three dogs, over the age of six months, to be kept in or at a dwelling house
• four dogs, or allow more than four dogs, over the age of six months, to be kept in or at a large dwelling house
• six dogs, or allow more than six dogs, over the age of six months, to be kept on an agricultural property; or
• three dogs, or allow more than three dogs, over the age of six months, to be kept on any other premises.

This does not apply to permit holders, pet shop owners, the police, veterinary clinics etc.

In so far as cats are concerned, the by-law states that, in the absence of a determination made by the City no person may keep more than –

• four cats, or allow more than four cats, over the age of six months to be kept in any premises
• six cats, or allow more than six cats, to be kept on an agricultural property.
How these provisions will be enforced is questionable and remains to be seen. One does, however, wonder why metro law enforcement should not be left to deal with real crime issues, illegal dumping, poaching etc instead of checking pet permits.

10) Mangaung Metropolitan Municipality
The following new by-laws were promulgated:

• Discharge of Industrial Effluent By-law
• Municipal Land Use Planning By-law
• Firefighting Services By-law
• Waste Management By-law.

They repeal older by-laws dealing with these topics.

11) Inxuba Yethemba Local Municipality
The By-law relating to Impoundment of Animals was published.

12) Polokwane Local Municipality
The Animal Pound By-law was published.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact us.

Kind regards