South Africa is a developing country with the goal of improving economic growth and infrastructure. The 1996 Constitution of South Africa presented a new approach to governance, management, and environmental law by giving the right to an environment (provided for in Section 24) that is harmless to the well-being or health (King et al., 2018:4) of citizens. The Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996 (Act No. 108 of 1996) places people at the focal point of environmental management (DEA, 2014b:65).
The National Environmental Management Act, 107 of 1998 (NEMA) is the key legislation in South Africa governing environmental authorisation which is managed by the Department of Environmental Affairs at local, provincial, and national levels of the government (Jikijela, 2013). NEMA is an environmental legislation framework that creates an assisting environment for the promulgation and adoption of a variety of environmental laws which concentrate the regulatory efforts on a particular environmental sector or medium (King et al., 2018:38).
The listed activities in Section 24 of NEMA are associated with the regulations published in Government Notices R327, R325, and R324 (as amended) in Government Gazette 40772. The 2014 EIA Regulations were amended on 7 April 2017, when the GNR 326 NEMA EIA Regulations came into effect. There are two categories of prescribed processes namely the Scoping & Environmental Impact Report process together with the Basic Assessment process (Jikijela, 2013:22).
The applicable Government Notices include the listed activities of the NEMA EIA Regulations that instruct if a Basic Assessment (BA) or Scoping and Environmental Impact Assessment (S&EIA) process should be carried out. There are three Listing Notices that list activities regarding Section 24 (2) (a) of NEMA.
Listing Notice 1: Basic Assessment
- Government Notice No. 983 [as amended]
- Government Notice R327
Listing Notice 2: Scoping / Environmental Impact Assessment Process
- Government Notice No. 984 [as amended]
- Government Notice R325
Listing Notice 3: Activities concerning sensitive geographical areas
- Government Notice No. 985 [as amended]
- Government Notice R324