3 Aug 2022
The Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment has published the amendments to the section 24H regulations, which were gazetted for public consultation on 31 December 2021, for implementation. Comments on the proposed amendments have been duly considered, and the Regulations were revised accordingly.
The amendments are required in order to provide contextual clarity, certainty on who is required to be registered as an environmental assessment practitioner (EAP) and by when, specify tasks that can only be performed by a registered EAP and to address potential implementation challenges.
The amendments require the registration of EAPs responsible for NEMA environmental authorisation (EA), section 24G of NEMA and waste management license (WML) application processes, and specify tasks that may only be performed by a registered EAP for those categories.
The amendments to the Regulations furthermore explicitly exclude certain role-players in the NEMA EA, NEMA Section 24G and WML application processes from the requirement to be registered based on reasons of rationality and practicality. These include persons that take the final decisions on applications such as the Ministers responsible for the environmental and mineral resources, Members of the Executive Council (MECs), Director-Generals (DGs) of the DFFE and the DMRE, Heads of Departments (HODs) or persons acting in any of those positions; persons who provide comments on documents; and persons who investigate, assess, or prepare specialist reports.
The amendments will not limit or exclude the participation of any person in the public participation processes for applications that fall within the scope of the Regulations, but will advance the professionalisation of the EAP sector.
The deadline for the compulsory registration of EAPs performing the specified tasks is 8 August 2022.
The Gazette for the amendments and a record of the comments and responses report for comments emanating from the public consultation process can be accessed at: National Environmental Management Act, 1998 (Act No. 107 of 1998) Amended of the section 24h registration authority regulations, 2016 [G 47133 – GoN 2320]