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Monthly SHE and Foodstuffs Legal Newsletter of what happened in June2023

Dear Clients,

Below please find a summary of selected relevant environmental, health and safety and foodstuffs legal developments that took place during June 2023.



 1) Nursing Act – Draft Regulations relating the Conditions under which a Registered Person may Practice as a Private Practitioner

Draft Regulations were published for public comment.


2) National Environmental Management Act

  • Regulations to Domesticate the Requirements of the Rotterdam Convention on the Prior Informed Consent Procedure for Certain Hazardous Chemicals and Pesticides in International Trade

These new Regulations were set to enter into force on 21 June 2023 (i.e. 120 days from date of original publication on 21 February 2023). This period was now amended to 300 days (i.e. 21 December 2023). At this point they will then repeal the 2021 Regulations (GN R 413 of 12 May 2021).

They apply to banned or severely restricted chemicals listed in Annexure I of the Regulations.

We provided a more detailed summary of the Regulations in our February 2023 report. Should you require a copy you can visit our website (the hyperlink was purposely omitted so that it is not possibly rejected by anti-spam filters) and go to “stay informed”, then “newsletters” and scroll down.

  •  National Biodiversity Offset Guideline

This new guideline was published.

Biodiversity offset is defined as the “measurable outcome of compliance with a formal requirement contained in an environmental authorisation to implement an intervention that has the purpose of counterbalancing the residual negative impacts of an activity, or activities, on biodiversity, through increased protection and appropriate management, after every effort has been made to avoid and minimise impacts, and rehabilitate affected areas”.

The purpose of this guideline is to indicate when biodiversity offsets are likely to be required as mitigation by any competent authority (CA), to lay down basic principles for biodiversity offsetting and to guide offset practice in the environmental authorisation (EA) application context.

However, it can also be used to inform other administrative processes that may involve biodiversity offsetting, including applications for EA in terms of section 24G of NEMA, emergency directives contemplated in section 30A of NEMA, applications for licences under the National Water Act, the National Forests Act and the Waste Act, applications for development rights in terms of the Spatial Planning and Land Use Management Act, and requests for the de-proclamation, or the withdrawal of declarations, of protected areas in terms of provincial legislation or the Protected Areas Act.

It only applies in the freshwater and terrestrial realm and not the offshore marine realm and estuarine ecosystems.


3) Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act

  • Draft Regulations on Rehabilitation, Reintegration and Return-to-Work of Injured or Diseased Employees

These Draft Regulations were published for public comment.


4) White Paper on Conservation and Sustainable Use of South Africa’s Biodiversity

The Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment released the above White Paper. It seeks to provide a policy framework on issues relating to:

–           The conservation of biodiversity;

–           The sustainable use of biodiversity;

–           Access to biological or genetic resources and the fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from their utilisation; and

–           The transformation of the country to ensure redress to previously disadvantaged individuals, equality, and equitable inclusion within the biodiversity-based economy.

Improvements in these four areas are identified as the four goals of this White Paper.


5)    Waste Act

  • Packaging Guideline: Recyclability by Design for Packaging and Paper in SA

This rather lengthy guideline was published.  It covers the following packaging materials:

  • Glass (including labels, metals, coatings)
  • Metals (steel/tinplate, aluminium, aerosol cans)
  • Paper (process, ink, adhesives, wet-strength additives, liquid board packaging (beverage cartons and paper cups), laminate and wax layers, paper grade definitions for recycling)
  • Plastics (recycling requirements, PET, PE-HD, PVC, PE-LD, PP, polystyrene, bio-degradable and compostable plastics).

It states that one of its key objectives is to assist designers in all forms of packaging with a better understanding of the environmental implications of their design decisions, thus promoting good environmental practices without restricting choice.


6)   Fertilizer, Farm Feeds, Agricultural Remedies and Stock Remedies Act

  • Draft Prohibition regarding the Use of Certain Agricultural Remedies

A draft proposal was published for public comment to prohibit the use of agricultural remedies containing chlorpyrifos and cartap hydrochloride as active ingredients.


7)    Ratification of the Convention on Facilitation of International Maritime Traffic (FAL Convention)

A notice was published inviting comment on the Department of Transport’s intention to ratify (i.e. sign) the Convention.


8)    Ratification of the Convention on the International Organization for Marine Aids to Navigation

A notice was published inviting comment on the Department of Transport’s intention to ratify (i.e. sign) the Convention.


9)    Merchant Shipping Act

  • Construction Regulations – Draft Amendment

Draft amendments were published for comment.


10)  Water Services Act

  • Regulations for the Erection, Enlargement, Operation and Registration of Water Care Works

These Regulations were promulgated in 1985 under the old 1954 Water Act. In short, they deal with water care works (which are treatment works for both drinking water as well as wastewater) and require the registration of the works as well as its operators.

The Regulations were now repealed by the Regulations relating to Compulsory National Standards for Process Controller and Water Services Works – see next bullet point.

  • Regulations relating to Compulsory National Standards for Process Controller and Water Services Works

All water services works must be classified into an appropriate class of works as set out in Schedules 1 and 2 of the new Regulations. Works classified in terms of the now repealed 1985 Regulations for the Erection, Enlargement, Operation and Registration of Water Care Works must be re-classified under the new Regulations. Works only becoming operational after the new Regulations were passed must apply to the Department of Water and Sanitation for classification.

All registered water services works must be in possession of a site specific operation and maintenance manual and water use authorisation.

The Regulations describe the necessary experience, training and registration requirements for process controllers.

In terms of Schedule 1A boreholes are also classified as a waterwork if used for abstraction and treatment of water for human consumption and household use. This would, however, only be where water is provided as a service, and not in the private/household use scenario.


11)  National Environmental Management Laws Amendment Act, 2 of 2022

This extensive Act amends various environmental laws. It came partly into force on 30 June 2023, except for sections 11, 35(a), 57, 60, 61(c), 61(j), 61(k), 62 – 66, 72, 76, 77, 86 – 88.

Acts affected by this law are the:

  • National Environmental Management Act
  • Protected Areas Act
  • Biodiversity Act
  • Air Quality Act
  • Integrated Coastal Management Act
  • Waste Act
  • National Environmental Management Amendment Act, 2008.

As these are extensive changes it will take us some time to fully interpret them, and especially to update the above laws in the legal register. It is expected that these will be done by next week which is when more details will be sent to legal register clients.



No relevant provincial legislation was published this month.



12)  Nkangala District Municipality

A new Municipal Health Services By-law was published. This replaces that of 2016.


13)  Stellenbosch Local Municipality

A new Municipal Land Use Planning By-law was promulgated. This replaces that of 2015.


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

Kind regards