Title: National Environmental Management Laws Amendment Bill, 2015
Government Notice: GN 986 in Government Gazette 39287 of 13 October 2015
Date of commencement: Not yet specified
Potentially affected controls: Amend and clarify certain provisions and definitions under National Environmental Management Act 107 of 1998 and the following Specific Environmental Management Acts (SEMAs)

The Bill seeks to clarify various uncertainties with regard to definitions, transitional provisions, legal process and implementation issues resulting from the implementation of the “One Environmental System”. The Bill proposes the following amendments (amongst others):

  • National Environmental Management Act, 1998;
    o to provide clarity to the definition of “financial provision” 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
    o to provide for simultaneous submission of NEMA and SEMA applications for purposes of one environmental system;
    o to provide clarity that section 28 is applicable to anticipatory costs as well as remedial measures
    o to provide clarity that a successor in title or person who controls the land may also lodge a section 24G application relating to an environmental authorisation or a waste management licence;
  • National Environmental Management: Protected Areas Act, 2003;
    o to create a new offence for non-compliance with section 48A which prohibit certain activities in marine protected areas
  • National Environmental Management: Biodiversity Act, 2004;
    o to provide to insert a definition of “eradicate” to provide clarity on measures to be undertaken to eradicate listed invasive species
    o to provide clarity on the steps actions or methods to be undertaken to either control or eradicate listed invasive species;
  • National Environmental Management: Air Quality Act, 2004;
    o to provide clarity on the consequences of unlawful commencement of a listed activity
    o 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;
  • National Environmental Management: Integrated Coastal Management Act, 2008;
    o to allow for the removal of structures erected prior to commencement of the Act
  • National Environmental Management: Waste Act, 2008;
    o to provide for textual amendment to the definitions of “residue deposits” and “residue stockpiles” and “waste”
    o to provide for consequential amendments with respect to the implementation of the waste management licensing system by the Minister responsible for mineral resources;
    o to provide for the simultaneous submission of the site assessment report and remediation plan relating to a contaminated land;
    o to clarify that there will be no exemptions provided from obtaining a waste management licence;
  • National Environmental Management Amendment Act of 2008;
    o to clarify that an environmental management programme or plan approved under the MP RDA is valid under NEMA
    o to provide clarity that an appeal against an environmental management programme or plan lodged under the MPRDA must be finalised under that Act
  • National Environmental Management Laws Amendment Act of 2014.
    o 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
    o to for continuation of environmental regulations developed under the MPRDA until the development and publication of such regulations under NEMA and NEMWA.

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 addresses specified in the notice.