Title: Waterberg Bojanala Priority Area Air Quality Management Plan
Government Notice: GN 1207 in GG 39489 of 9 December 2015
Date of commencement: 9 December 2015
Potentially affected controls: New or existing projects/activities situated in the Waterberg Bojanala Priority Area.

The Minister declared the Waterberg–Bojanala Priority Area (WBPA) on 15 June 2012 as the third National Priority Area, crossing the North West and Limpopo provincial borders. The WBPA covers an area of 67 837 km2, bordering with Botswana. It includes the Waterberg District Municipality (WDM) in Limpopo Province and parts of the Bojanala Platinum District Municipality (BPDM) in the North West Province, with nine Local Municipalities (LM).

The energy-based development initiatives in South Africa and Botswana pose a threat to the current state of ambient air quality in the region. Management planning in the WBPA therefore needs to consider the current and future threats to air quality. Subsequently uMoya-NILU Consulting (Pty) Ltd was appointed by the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) to develop the Air Quality Management Plan (AQMP) for the WBPA.

The AQMP development process included three main components. Firstly, the characterisation of the baseline air quality in the WBPA. Secondly, the quantification of the potential threats posed to ambient air quality by emissions from future energy-based projects in the WDM and in Botswana up to 2030. Thirdly, the development of the WBPA AQMP and its supporting Implementation Plan.

Some of the gaps and issues identified to be taken forward into the AQMP development process include, inter alia:
• Capacity at Local Government is not sufficient to carry out all AQM functions;
• Insufficient financial resources are available for AQM at all spheres of government;
• Lack of understanding of roles and responsibilities leads either to duplication of effort or functions not being performed
• Weak co-operative governance and communications inhibits effective AQM function;
• There is no health baseline with respect to air pollution in the WBPA and ecological impacts are not understood, i.e. with modelling and monitoring, efforts focus on industry, mining and residential fuel burning. Emissions from small boilers, biomass burning, waste management and transport were excluded;
• There is generally a poor understanding of air quality and potential impacts on human and ecological health.

The AQMP for the WBPA aims to address the gaps and issues identified in the baseline characterisation, and to address the challenges posed to air quality and the management thereof by the planned development of energy-based projects in the region. The overall objective of the WBPA AQMP recognises that ambient air quality currently does not comply with NAAQS throughout the Priority Area, and the proposed expansion of energy-based projects in the WDM and Botswana poses a risk to future air quality.

The Overall Objective of the WBPA AQMP is to be realised through the attainment of five related goals. A number of outcomes-based objectives are set for each of the goals to steer the implementation of the WBPA AQMP. Activities are then defined, which upon their completion will ensure that the objectives are realised, and in turn, the goal is realised.

An Implementation Plan accompanies the AQMP. It includes the responsibility of executing the work required in each activity through assigning mandatory and participatory roles.