Parliament Briefed on NEMLA Bill

Department of Environmental Affairs

The environmental affairs department recently briefed parliament on the National Environmental Management Laws Amendment Bill.

The bill was tabled in May 2017.

It seeks to amend a raft of environmental legislation including the National Environmental Management Act, National Environmental Management: Protected Areas Act, National Environmental Management: Biodiversity Act, National Environmental Management: Waste Act and the National Environmental Management Amendment Act.

The bill aims to provide for clarity on certain matters and textual amendments.

The proposed legislation seeks to put in place a single application process for licences and permits and allow for the issuing of integrated licences and authorisations.

During its briefing, the department identified inconsistencies in the application and implementation of the various pieces of environmental management legislation.

Some of the inconsistencies included protracted licensing and/or permitting processes, increasing non-compliance with environmental legislation and governance matters relating to the National Biodiversity Institute, South Africa National Parks and the Waste Management Bureau.

The bill was designed to address the inconsistencies.

In terms of the one environmental system provisions, the bill seeks to provide for simultaneous submission of all environmental applications linked to mining activities and clarify that the mineral resources minister is responsible for implementation of the licensing system for waste activity flowing from mining operations.

Public hearings on the bill were recently held in parliament.

Sabinet Cape Town Office

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