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Minister Edna Molewa publishes NEMLA Bill 2015

Minister Edna Molewa publishes NEMLA Bill 2015

Oct 20, 2015

The Minister of Environmental Affairs, Mrs Edna Molewa, on 13 October 2015, has published the National Environmental Management Laws Amendment Bill, 2015 (NEMLA Bill) intended to amend certain provisions of the National Environmental Management Act and Specific Environmental Management Acts in Government Gazette no: 39287

The purpose of the NEMLA Bill is to amend certain provisions of the National Environmental Management Act, 1998 (Act No. 107 of 1998) (NEMA), the National Environmental Management: Protected Areas Act, 2003 (Act No. 57 of 2003) (NEMPAA), the National Environmental Management: Biodiversity Act, 2004 (Act No. 10 of 2004) (NEMBA); the National Environmental Management: Air Quality Act, 2004 (Act No. 39 of 2004) (NEMAQA); the National Environmental Management: Integrated Coastal Management Act, 2008 (Act No. 24 of 2008) (ICM Act); the National Environmental Management: Waste Act, 2008 (Act No. 59 of 2008) (NEMWA), the National Environmental Management Amendment Act, 2008 (Act No. 62 of 2008) (NEMAA), and the National Environmental Management Laws Amendment Act, 2014 (Act No. 25 of 2014) (NEMLA).

The amendment of these laws is to provide for textual amendments and clarity on certain matters pertaining to these laws.

–       Amendments to NEMA, among others, are intended to correct the citation and to provide clarity to certain definitions; to provide clarity that an applicant or holder of an environmental authorisation relating to mining activities must set aside financial provision for progressive mitigation, mine closure and the management of post closure environmental impacts; to strengthen and enable the issuing of integrated licences, where possible; to further streamline and strengthen the One Environmental System and to strengthen compliance and enforcement mechanisms;

–       Amendments to NEMPAA, intended to provide for the Chief Financial Officer of the South African National Parks to be a member of the board; to create a new offence for non-compliance with section 48A which prohibit certain activities in marine protected areas; to rectify incorrect references to offences;

–       Amendments to NEMBA, are aimed to provide clarity on measures to be undertaken to eradicate listed invasive species; to provide for the Chief Financial Officer of the South African National Biodiversity Institute to be a member of the board; to empower the Minister to take a decision in the place of the provincial issuing authority under certain circumstances; to provide clarity on the steps, actions or methods to be undertaken to either control or eradicate listed invasive species; to provide clarity that MECs must follow a consultation process when exercising legal power under NEMBA;

–       Amendments to NEMAQA to provide clarity on the consequences of unlawful commencement of a listed activity; to provide clarity that a provincial department responsible for environmental affairs is the licensing authority where a listed activity falls within the boundaries of more than one metropolitan municipality or more than one district municipality; to provide for textual amendment to section 36(5)(d); to ensure alignment with respect to the implementation of one appeal process under NEMA; to ensure that an exemption in terms of section 59 may be issued subject to conditions;

–       Amendments to ICM Act to allow for the removal of structures erected prior to commencement of the Act; to provide legal clarity that an appeal against a decision issued by delegated official must be lodged at the appropriate sphere of government and appeal authority;

–       Amendments to NEMWA, amongst others, intended to move all definitions from Schedule 3 to section 1; to provide for textual amendment to the definitions of “residue deposits” and “residue stockpiles” and “waste”; to provide clarity that the Waste Management Bureau is established as a specialised delivery unit within the Department;

–       Amendments to NEMAA to clarify that an environmental management programme or plan approved under the MPRDA is valid under NEMA; to provide clarity that an appeal against an environmental management programme or plan lodged under the MPRDA must be finalised under that Act; to provide clarity on the commencement date of the National Environmental Management Amendment Act, 2008;

–       Amendments to NEMLA to clarify that an environmental management programme or plan on residue deposit or residue stockpile approved under the MPRDA is valid under NEMWA; to provide clarity regarding an appeal against environmental management programme or plan on residue deposit or residue stockpile lodged under the MPRDA to be finalised under that Act; to provide for continuation of environmental regulations developed under the MPRDA until the development and publication of such regulations under NEMA and NEMWA and to provide for matters connected therewith.

Please click on the links below to access the Gazette and related documents.

National Environmental Management Laws Amendment Bill, 2015: For public comment

https://www.environment.gov.za/sites/default/files/gazetted_notices/nemlabill2015_gn39287.pdf

Socio Economic Impact Assessment Report

https://www.environment.gov.za/sites/default/files/docs/nemlabill2015_impactassessment.pdf

Memorandum on the objects of the National Environmental Management Laws Amendment Bill, 2015

https://www.environment.gov.za/sites/default/files/docs/memorandum_objectsofthenemlabill2015.pdf

Members of the public are invited to submit to the Minister, within 30 days of publication of this notice in the Gazette, written inputs or comments to the following addresses:

By post to:  The Director General: Department of Environmental Affairs

Attention: Mr Rudzani Netsianda

Private Bag X44 7

Pretoria, 0001

By hand at:  Environment House,

473 Steve Biko Street, Arcadia, Pretoria, 0001

Or

Any inquiries in connection with the National Environmental Management Laws Amendment Bill, 201 5 can be directed to Mr Sibusiso Shabalala at (012) 399 9351. Comments received after the closing date may not be considered.

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