ENVIRONMENTAL, HEALTH AND SAFETY AND FOODSTUFFS LEGAL UPDATE REPORT (SOUTH AFRICA) August 2023
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Below please find a summary of selected relevant environmental, health and safety and foodstuffs legal developments that took place during August 2023.
1) National Environmental Management Act
- Amendment of Procedures for the Assessment and Minimum Criteria for Reporting on Identified Environmental Themes in terms of sections 24(5)(a) and (h) and 44 of NEMA when applying for Environmental Authorisation
The above procedures were amended. They set out protocols for the specialist assessment and minimum report content requirements for environmental impacts on terrestrial animal and plant species. These have to be used instead of Appendix 6 of the EIA Regulations, GN R 982 of 2014, except where the applicant provides proof to the competent authority that the specialist assessment affected by these protocols had been commissioned by the date of publication of these protocols in the Government Gazette (30 October 2020), in which case Appendix 6 will apply.
- Draft Procedures for the Assessment and Minimum Criteria for Reporting on Identified Environmental Themes in terms of sections 24(5)(a) and (h) and 44 of NEMA when applying for Environmental Authorisation
Draft procedures dealing with the environmental impacts on Cape Vultures by onshore wind energy generation facilities where the electricity output is 20 MW or more were published for comment.
- Consultation on the Intention to Amend certain Requirements for an Application for Environmental Authorisation for a Renewable Energy Facility or for the Request for Registration of an Exclusion from the Requirement to obtain an Environmental Authorisation
A draft proposal was published for public comment on the intention to require that a letter of consent from Eskom Holdings Ltd, or its successor, be submitted with either
- An application for environmental authorisation, or
- A request for registration of an exclusion from the requirement to obtain an environmental authorisation for identified activities as set out in the Schedule to the draft.
The additional requirements apply to an application for environmental authorisation for activities 1 or 36 of Listing Notice 1 (of the EIA Regulations) or activity 2 of Listing Notice 2, and a request for registration as set out in the “Solar Photovoltaic Exclusion Norm”. It further applies when the activity is proposed within a radius of 2 km of a main electricity transmission substation, or 1 km of a main electricity distribution substation, as identified by the screening tool.
- EIA Regulations – DRAFT amendments
Draft amendments to the EIA Regulations, as well as Listing Notices 1, 2 and 3 were published for public comment. The focus is quite heavy on mining related matters and related environmental management programmes.
- Amendment – Regulations laying down the Procedure to be followed for the Adoption of Spatial Tools or Environmental Management Instruments, 2019
These 2019 Regulations set out the procedure the Minister or MEC of Environmental Affairs must follow when adopting a spatial tool or environmental management instrument for which no environmental authorisation (in terms of an EIA) is required. Amendments were published in GN 2688 of 28 October 2022, but these only entered into force once the National Environmental Management Laws Amendment Act, 2 of 2022, became effective (which happened on 30 June 2023).
- Draft National Appeal Regulations
Draft Regulations were published for comment. They aim to repeal the 2014 National Appeal Regulations as well as the 2016 Integrated Coastal Management Appeal Regulations.
2) Fertilizer, Farm Feeds, Agricultural Remedies and Stock Remedies Act
- Regulations relating to Agricultural Remedies
These new Regulations repeal the Regulations relating to the Registration of Fertilizers, Farm Feeds, Agricultural Remedies, Stock Remedies, Sterilising Plants and Pest Control Operators, GN R 1449 of 1983, as well as the Regulations relating to Agricultural Remedies, GN R 935 of 2006.
3) Merchant Shipping Act
- Draft Crew Accommodation Regulations
Draft Regulations were published for public comment. An earlier version was already published in October 2022.
No relevant provincial legislation was published this month.
4) Bela-Bela Local Municipality
The following relevant by-laws were published:
- Noise Abatement and Prevention of Nuisance By-law
- Solid Waste By-law.
5) City of Johannesburg
The new Water Services By-law was published. This repeals the 2004 by-law.
6) Mopani District Municipality
The following new by-laws were published:
- Waste Management By-law
- Air Quality Management By-law.
Unfortunately, the Waste Management By-law does not state whether it should also apply in local municipalities falling under the district. If necessary, it is therefore suggested to check if any of the five local municipalities have promulgated a waste by-law.
In so far as the Air Quality Management By-law is concerned, section 3 states that it will prevail to the extent of any inconsistency with any other (local) by-law within the district municipality’s area.
7) George Local Municipality
The following new by-laws were published:
- Stormwater By-law
- By-law relating to Streets (this repeals the 2010 By-law relating to Road and Streets)
- By-law relating to Prevention of Public Nuisances (this repeals the 2010 By-law relating to Prevention of Public Nuisances and Public Nuisances Arising from the Keeping of Animals)
- Water and Sanitation Services By-law (this repeals the 2010 Water and Sanitation Services By-law)
- Water Services By-law to Restrict the Use of Water (this repeals the 2010 Water Services By-law to Limit or Restrict the Use of Water)
- Electricity Supply By-law (this repeals the 2010 Electricity Supply By-law)
- Building Control By-law
The scope of this by-law is quite wide as numerous structures and buildings are covered and which require municipal approval. These include, among others, any containers/tanks (for storage or habitation), air conditioning units, grey water systems, bore holes, alternative energy systems, wind turbines, communication infrastructure, fencing, electric fencing, vibacrete structures, temporary buildings, surface installations such as mini-substations, meter kiosks and service pillars.
An occupancy certificate may not be issued by the municipality unless the owner has provided the numerous certificates and documents set out in section 6 of the by-law.
- Outdoor Advertising Management and Control By-law (this repeals the 2012 Outdoor Advertising Management and Control By-law).
8) Laingsburg Local Municipality
The Integrated Waste Management By-law was promulgated.
9) Emalahleni Local Municipality
New By-laws for the Prevention of Public Nuisances were published. These repeal the 2021 By-laws for the Prevention of Public Nuisances.
10) Swartland Local Municipality
A new Electricity Supply By-law was published. This repeals the 2014 Electricity Supply By-law.
11) Drakenstein Local Municipality
A new Water and Sanitation Services By-law was introduced. This repeals the 2014 Water Services By-law.
12) uMzinyathi District Municipality
A new Water Services By-law was published. This repeals the 2005 by-law.
13) Bergriver Local Municipality
The By-law relating to the Berg River Estuary Usage Zones was published. This repeals the 2020 By-law relating to the Control of Vessels and Boating Activities on the Berg River Estuary, as well as the 2019 By-law relating to the Management and Use of the Berg River Estuary.
14) Fetakgomo Tubatse Local Municipality
The following new by-laws were promulgated:
- Waste Management By-law – this repeals the 2005 and 2008 Waste Management By-laws.
- Noise Control By-law.
If you have any questions please feel free to contact us.