Environmental Impact Assessment Section 24GCasidra
An Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is a legal requirement that necessitates an investigation into the potential impact planned activities may have on the environment in which they are to be effected. This process culminates into either the issuance of environmental authorisation for those activities and/or waste license. These investigations can take the form of either a Basic Assessment (BA) or a full scoping and EIA.
The Minister of Environmental Affairs and Development Planning (DEADP), has prescribed in Section 24 of the National Environmental Management Act (NEMA) of 1998, a list of activities that may not commence prior to obtaining authorisation for such activities from environmental authorities. If this requisite permission is not sought by any developer before-hand, and activities commence before this permission is granted, then a Section 24G may be applied for. This is a rectification process and can arise from the following activities:
- The development and related operation of facilities and infrastructure for the concentration of animals for the purpose of commercial production, where such exceed threshold levels.
- The development of canals, bridges, dams weirs, bulk storm-water outlet structures, marinas, jetties slipways, buildings, boardwalks, infrastructure or structures exceeding specified thresholds, where such development occurs within a watercourse or within 32 metres of a watercourse or exceed certain design parameters.
- Development in the sea, in an estuary, within the littoral active zone, within 100 metres of the high water mark of the sea.
- The development of facilities of infrastructure for the storage and handling of a dangerous good, where such exceed specified thresholds.
- The removal indigenous vegetation which exceed specified thresholds.
When a Section 24G is applied for, the NEMA makes provision for a person who has commenced activities to be liable for an administrative fine not exceeding R5 Million, which must be fully paid before any authorisation decision is taken. Failure to pay the administrative fine may result in the offender being subjected to a prison sentence as determined by the court. The following is applied when quantifying the applicable fine:
- The impact or potential impacts of the activity or activities namely:
- The negative, or potential negative , socio-economic impact
- The biodiversity impact
- The impact on sense of place and/or heritage
- Any pollution and/or environmental degradation which has been, is being, or may be caused by the activity or activities
- The social benefit, or potential social benefit, of the project
- The compliance history of the applicant, namely:
- Whether or not final administrative enforcement notices have previously been issued to the applicant in respect of a contravention of Section 24F (1) of the Act and/or Section 20(1)(b) of the national Environmental Management Act.
- Whether or not the applicant has previously submitted a Section 24G application in respect of an activity or activities which commenced prior to the activity or activities that are the subject of the current application.
- Circumstances of the applicant:
- Whether the applicant is a firm or a natural person.
Therefore, it is imperative that a thorough environmental due diligence is conducted before any development projects are undertaken. This can take the form of an EIA screening where any environmental triggers are identified before commencement, thereby, reducing the risk of NEMA contraventions.
Land Reform Initiative
In August a new platform for land reform dialogue was launched. The National Forum, which includes representatives of three South African Universities; the South African Human Rights Commission, and the Foundation for Human Rights, recently discussed land reform within the context of the South African Constitution, asking whether changes are needed to speed up land reform.
See the LREAD August 2017 perspective as on Casidra website.
The UTA completed the following projects for the quarter:
- Stellenbosch commonage – Basic EIA
- Hessequa Flour Milling Plant Feasibility Study
- ASNAPP Agribusiness Incubator
- High Veg viability assessment
- Greylock farm-Basic EIA
- African Roots viability assessment
- Robertson Small Scale Farmers viability assessment
- Nooitgedacht Farmers Trust-EIA Screening
- Elton Loxton Family Trust-EIA Screening
- Lemoenshoek Family Trust-EIA Screening
- De Goree ownership re-assessment
- Cross Atlantic Properties ownership assessment
- Khoi Klaas ownership assessment
- Iqude Farming (riverside)-Borehole siting
- Kersgat Farm-Borehole siting