Title: Department of Environmental Affairs: Description in terms of section 15(1) of the Promotion of Access to Information Act 2 of 2000
Government Notice: GN 435 in GG 39922 of 15 April 2016
Date of commencement: 15 April 2016

The Department of Environmental Affairs recently published an updated description in terms of section 15(1) of Promotion of Access to Information Act 2 of 2000 (PAIA), specifying that it will, from now on, automatically disclose certain environmental licences to the public, without a formal request for access to these licences made in terms of PAIA.

The following permits are now automatically available to the public:

  1. Environmental Authorisations;
  2. Waste Management Licences
  3. Atmospheric Emission Licences;
  4. Biodiversity Act Permits; and
  5. General permits for Boat Based Whale Watching and White Shark Cage Diving

“So what” for my operation?
It is important for your operation to note that the content of the above mentioned environmental licences is now regarded as automatically available information. Any individual or organisation can now obtain access to these licences without lodging a formal request in terms of PAIA. Subsequently the public can easily act as “watchdogs” when it comes to the relevant licence holder’s compliance to the conditions of these licences.