Forestry, Fisheries and Environment publishes final amendments to National Estuarine Management Protocol

22 Jun 2021

Final amendments to the National Estuarine Management Protocol published for implementation  

Final amendments to the National Estuarine Management Protocol have been published for implementation. These amendments address implementation issues and the impact of the 2016 Supreme Court of Appeal judgement in Abbott v Overstrand Municipality. The judgement found that the assignment of functions to municipalities in the existing Protocol presented constitutional challenges, as the assignment should have been done in terms of the Integrated Coastal Management Act, and not the Protocol.

To address the unconstitutionality of the Protocol, the Department went through an extensive stakeholder consultation that culminated in an agreement to amend the following paragraphs of the Protocol:

Paragraph 5: to assign the provincial environmental departments as responsible management authorities to develop estuarine management plans and coordinate the implementation of the Estuarine management Protocols (EMPs) in consultation with the affected local and district municipalities. Provinces may enter into agreements with municipalities willing to take the function of developing the EMPs in terms of the 156 (4) of the Constitution and continue with the estuarine management function.

Paragraph 9.1: the approval of the EMP developed by the provincial lead agencies shall be approved by the MEC and where the EMP is developed by the national conservation agency or the Department, it must be approved by the Minister.
Paragraph 9.2 considers the effective implementation of the EMP by ensuring that once it is approved, it must be integrated into the CMPs, IDP, SDF and Protected Areas Management Plans.

The Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment, Barbara Dallas Creecy, published a notice in the Government Gazette, Vol 672 (Notice No. 44724) for the implementation of the amended National Estuarine Management Protocol on Friday, 18 June 2021.

A copy of the amended Protocol can be downloaded from the department’s website: www.environment.gov.za or can be obtained electronically upon request by email to Mr Ruwen Pillay on rupillay@environment.gov.za(link sends e-mail) .

Courtesy: www.gov.za

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DFFE decision on Karpowership EIA applications

24 Jun 2021

The Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment has reached a decision on the three applications which were submitted in October 2020 by Karpowership SA (Pty) Ltd for an environmental authorisation for the development of gas to power via powerships.

The competent authority in the department has decided, after due consideration of all relevant information presented as part of the environmental impact assessment process for all three applications in question, to refuse the applications for the environmental authorisations.

The applicant had proposed to locate the three powership projects at the ports of Richards Bay, Ngqura and Saldanha to generate electricity from natural gas to be evacuated through transmission lines to substations linking to the national grid. The powerships were to be assembled off-site and be delivered fully equipped and functional to the different ports.

The abovementioned applications came as a response to the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy’s requests for emergency power supply interventions linked to the Risk Mitigation Independent Power Procurement Program.

The competent authority in the department adjudicated these applications in terms of the National Environmental Management Act (NEMA) and specific sections of the Environmental Impact Assessment Regulations.

The final reports were submitted to the department for decision-making on 26 April 2021.

The competent authority had until 25 June 2021 to reach a decision, as the three projects were classified as strategic integrated projects, which meant the fifty-seven (57) day timeframe, as gazetted in the National Infrastructure Act, applied.

Copies of the records of refusal are available as follows: 

Should any person wish to lodge an appeal against the decision, he/she must submit the appeal to the appeal administrator.

Courtesy: www.gov.za

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Deputy Minister Makhotso Sotyu on commemorating Desertification and Drought Day

17 Jun 2021

The Deputy Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment Ms Makhotso Sotyu has reiterated the urgency to invest in the land, enhance coherence and synergies to protect and restore natural ecosystems as part of the global recovery from Covid-19.

The Deputy Minister’s message comes as South Africa joins the international community in marking the Desertification and Drought Day (DDD) under the theme “Restoration. Land. Recovery– we build back better with healthy land,” today, 17 June 2021.

“Investing in healthy land as part of a green recovery is a smart economic decision, not just in terms of creating jobs and rebuilding livelihoods, but in terms of protecting economies against future crises caused by climate change and nature loss,” said Deputy Minister Sotyu.

South Africa’s landscape is composed of 91% of drylands making it susceptible to desertification, land degradation and drought. It is for this reason that the government is committed to the rehabilitation, conservation and restoration of degraded landscapes by implementing the post-economic recovery measures through the presidential stimulus package.

Evidence suggests that a green stimulus package could offer growth potential for the economy through investment in green projects and programmes; employment creation and co-benefit effects. These can be derived through the restoration of degraded ecosystems and conservation of the remaining intact ecosystems for the continued delivery of valuable services to livelihoods.

“It is important to take into account that, all ecosystems can be restored, rehabilitated or conserved. When it comes to the restoration of ecosystems, all actions and efforts at all levels matter. Degraded lands exacerbate drought, floods, water loss, extinctions, disease, conflicts and migration while restoring them is a most cost-effective solution,” said Deputy Minister Sotyu.

Land restoration offers multiple pathways towards a green recovery and achieving Sustainable Development Goals. Tools to create healthier and more resilient societies and economies already exist and include more responsible land governance, investments that protect and restore land, and coherent long-term policies and incentives.

As the foundation of all forms of life on earth, the land supports the provision of ecosystem goods and services such as food, water, energy, resilience to climate, and reduce vulnerability to the spread of zoonotic diseases. Despite all the benefits provided for by land, about 70% of global drylands are affected by desertification and land degradation. 

However, United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) offers new hope in the struggle against environmental problems. The Covid-19 pandemic is exacerbating economic, social and environmental problems such as poverty, poor health, lack of food security, biodiversity loss, water scarcity, reduced resilience to climate change and migration, amongst others.

courtesy: www.gov.za

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Minister Barbara Creecy on marine pollution

Marine litter is a matter of national and global concern says Minister Barbara Creecy

Marine litter, including plastic litter, has become a matter of increasing global and national concern as a source of marine pollution. The Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment has therefore prioritised efforts to deal with the challenge of marine litter.

There is sufficient evidence that a large percentage of pollution in the ocean originates from sources on land. In response to this growing concern, the department has developed a “Source-to-Sea” initiative focusing on managing litter sources, mainly from upstream catchments where the litter gets transported to the ocean and coastal areas by rivers and tributaries that discharge into the ocean.

“The Source-to-Sea programme involves multiple government departments, at the national, provincial and local level, as well as the private sector and other stakeholders, working in priority catchment areas, and providing job opportunities through the Working for the Coast program,” said the Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment, Barbara Creecy, on the occasion of observing World Oceans Day, on 8th June.

The main objective of the pilot project is to reduce the prevalence of marine litter by up-scaling efforts to capture and recover litter in these river systems. The project also aimed to monitor and characterize the litter recovered and to conduct schools and community awareness initiatives.

This year’s World Oceans Day is observed under the theme: “Ocean: Life and Livelihood.” World Ocean Day was officially recognised by the United Nations General Assembly in 2008 and is observed, since 2009, by all member states, including South Africa.

Marine litter primarily comes from towns and cities located along rivers and waterways, which become pathways for litter into the marine environment.

Minister Creecy also added that as part of the Presidency’s Employment Stimulus Initiative the Department is expanding the Source-to-Sea Programme into 16 coastal districts with the target of creating approximately 1 600 job opportunities. Planning is underway to commence this initiative in July 2021.

“As we grow our ocean economy, we also have to be cognisant of the impact of increasing human activity on the health of our oceans. It is essential that we manage our footprint and impact and put in place measures to protect our ocean and coastal ecosystems and biodiversity within the context of sustainable development. It is for this reason that South Africa’s Oceans Economy programme includes a specific priority and focus on marine protection and ocean governance,” said Minister Creecy.

Globally, plastic production has reached new highs, with over 320 million tons now being produced annually. It has been estimated that between 4 to 12 million tons of plastic are added to the oceans each year.

Our oceans are globally recognised as unique and a hotspot of marine biodiversity. The Atlantic, Southern and Indian Ocean’s fishing grounds are among the healthiest worldwide, and coastal tourism is, and has the potential to be a significant income earner for many African coastal nations. 

GREEN ECONOMY JOURNAL: PLASTICS PAST AND PRESENT IN SA [ON PAGE 10]

PLASTIC POLLUTION: A DROP IN THE OCEAN (PAGE 10)

courtesy: www.gov.za

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Forestry, Fisheries and Environment: Minister Barbara Creecy’s budget to NCOP

25 May 2021

Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and Environment, Barbara Creecy, delivers Budget Speech to National Council of Provinces

Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment Minister Barbara Creecy outlined several initiatives being implemented by the Department in collaboration with the provinces, the district, and local municipalities to ensure environmental services reach all sectors of society.

Minister Creecy confirmed the country’s commitment to contributing its fair share to the global climate change effort, highlighting the role the Presidential Climate Change Coordinating Committee will play in overseeing the co-ordination of necessary policies to meet a long-term, net-zero emissions target and advise on opportunities presented by the transition to low-carbon development and the pathways to achieve it.

To achieve this, the Department had supported all district municipalities. To develop climate change adaptation strategies through the ‘Let’s Respond Toolkit’. This would ensure climate change is mainstreamed into the Integrated Development Plans, or IDPs, of the 44 district municipalities. Training on the Coastal Climate Change Vulnerability Index and Decision Support Tool in 3 coastal district Municipalities.

Minister Creecy said it was clear from the latest the State of Environment update, that South Africa’s air quality, particularly in the national priority areas, needs urgent and significant attention.

“Let me reiterate that this is a concurrent function and we will never succeed in improving air quality at community level without the hard work of all spheres of government,” said the Minister.

Air quality monitoring stations are presently being operated, maintained, and managed by the Department until 2022. Will be handed to local governments once there has been capacitation and practical on-the-job training, coordinated with the support of the South African Weather Service and the National Association for Clean Air.

“As part of the Department’s zero-tolerance on compliance and enforcement approach, we have taken a tough line with Eskom and Sasol and issued several Compliance Notices. In this regard, the department will not be issuing any exemptions to compliance with minimum emission standards, so all facilities will need to comply by 2025,” said the Minister.

A concerted effort was being made to ensure all sectors operating within the Priority Areas meet compliance and enforcement requirements related to air quality and emissions standards. The department would continue to support the development of the Environmental Management Inspectorate capacity at the local authority level to deal with matters related to air quality.

The Minister said a drive has been launched to reposition the country’s protected areas for the New Deal for People with Nature.

“The present state of protected areas in South Africa is marred by serious funding and capacity constraints, which leads to considerable fragmentation, duplication and inefficiency of management arrangements within the protected areas system,” said the Minister. “In light of this, I have kick-started a process of investigating the rationalisation of protected areas by focusing on, amongst others, the reduction of fragmentation of functional responsibilities and the overlap of functions between different organs of state, improving conservation management and capacity of protected areas management agencies and enhancing cooperative governance in the management of protected areas”. 

Provinces and local government are key role players in this process.

The Biodiversity Economy is expected to create 110 000 new jobs by 2030 and contribute an additional R47 billion to GDP.

Through the National Wildlife Donation and Custodianship Policy Framework, which guides the review and implementation of Provincial Game Donation and Custodianship Policies, 15 000 head of game are expected to have been released as part of the wildlife transformation program by the 2023/24 book year. 

The department is also supporting emerging game farmers with related infrastructures, such as game fencing, water, game capture, and translocation costs to the tune of R810 million over the next three years.

A total of R251 million has been committed to the development of the bioprospecting and bio trade program in the next three years so communities can participate meaningfully in this industry.

Minister Creecy said the Integrated Coastal Management Act has placed an obligation on local government to facilitate access to beaches through public servitudes and made it an offence for anyone to prevent access to beaches. Because the local government has not been able to implement these provisions due to capacity challenges, the department has prioritised implementation with provinces and municipalities, to facilitate access incrementally along South Africa’s coastline. 

Apart from dealing with marine litter, the department supports municipalities to carry out their functions by funding waste management licences for unlicensed landfill sites. This process will enable Municipalities in seven sites from various Municipalities in the Free State, North West, Mpumalanga and Eastern Cape to access funding from various funders to ensure that landfill sites comply with their waste management licences. This will be enhanced by providing training to improve the management of landfill sites.

Furthermore, the DFFE together with the Provincial Departments of Environment will be providing support in implementing projects and programmes to Districts across the country. To realise an environment that is not harmful to health and to have the environment protected from the pollution that may arise from waste. A key programme in this regard is the Municipal Cleaning and Greening programme that would be implemented in all the municipalities.

The involvement of Local and Provincial Authorities is thus critical if we want to advance aquaculture to promote local and rural economic development. We need to collectively explore local markets for fish and aquaculture products so that local jobs are created within the value chain. 

To access the Minister’s speech, click on: https://www.environment.gov.za/speeches/creecy_budgetspeech_ncop

Courtesy: www.gov.za

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Deputy Minister Makhotso Sotyu: Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment Dept Budget Vote 2021/22 NCOP

25 May 2021

Address by the Deputy Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment, Hon. Ms Makhotso Sotyu (MP), during the NCOP policy debate on budget vote 32 for the DFFE 2021/2022  

South Africa has one of the most magnificent environments in the world.  Because of our rich variety of plants and animals, our country is ranked in the top three most biodiverse on Earth. 

This places on us, as lawmakers, business, civil society and citizens, an enormous responsibility to ensure that all of us work together to ensure our natural environment is protected, and that we are all able to live in harmony with nature. 

This means that the sustainable use of our natural resources in the development of our economy, and the upliftment of the lives of our people, should not be such that it destroys the environment we live in. 

Honourable Members,  

Land is the foundation of all life on Earth and an engine of economic growth.  

We can feed more people if we treat our soils with care and prevent land degradation. 

We recognise the role played by our trees in our environment and their contribution to the greening of our country.  

As part of the Government Greening Programme, the President has directed our Department to coordinate and facilitate the planting of two million trees annually, for the next five years.  

This makes our five-year target to be ten million trees. 

The trees to be planted over this period will include those that provide shade and fruit, and those that will green human settlements and assist in rehabilitating degraded areas. Planting trees and cleaning of the communities will be intertwined.   

The sourcing of trees from Community-Based Nurseries and Small and Medium Enterprises will stimulate Local Economic Development. 

We believe that the planting of these two million trees annually, would need us to look at this initiative in a broader context of greening that is aimed at also addressing issues of climate change, beautification of our surroundings and rehabilitation of degraded areas, amongst others. 

To ensure that two million trees are planted annually, commencing in the 2021/22 financial year, the Department will explore partnerships with Non-Government Organisations, Corporates, Municipalities, Sector Departments, and other public entities involved in the function of greening. 

It is envisaged that the planting of the two million trees is planted as part of greening low-cost income housing settlements. 

This will not only bring beauty into the households but also promote the importance of trees and benefits for the environment. 

The Department of Human Settlement and the Municipalities are at the centre of the plan as they will have plans in terms of which areas will be getting new housing settlements. 

The Department will be refurbishing four (4) of its own nurseries this financial year to meet the demand of the Greening programme. The nurseries are:

  • Wolsely – Western Cape
  • Bloemhof – North West
  • Rusplaas – Limpopo
  • QwaQwa – Free State

The refurbishment of the nurseries will increase production and employment for the local communities. 

Honourable Members,  

The Forestry Masterplan is a formal implementation plan that has been endorsed by Labour, Industry and Government, to ensure for creation and sustainability of decent employment, long-term investment, and the transfer of skills and expertise to the next generation. 

The Masterplan document has identified six (6) focus areas:

Focus Area 1: Expansion of the primary resources, Maintenance and Protection

Focus Area 2: Transformation of the sector

Focus Area 3: Processing and value addition

Focus Area 4: Illegal timber and related criminal activities

Focus Area 5: Research Development and Innovation, Human Resource and Skills Development

Focus Area 6: Key inhibitors

With the Forestry Industry onboard, the Masterplan will ensure that Forestry becomes a transformed industry and represents all sectors of society. 

The Department has identified three (3) plantations, namely Ramputas in Limpopo, Lehanna and Makoba in the Eastern Cape, to be transferred to the local communities in this financial year. 

This is towards achieving Focus area 2: Transformation of the sector. This is but one example of how the Masterplan will be implemented. 

The reforestation of South Africa will also contribute significantly to a decline in greenhouse gas emissions, and see us meet part of our international climate change obligations.  

Chairperson,

 As we adapt to, and mitigate, the effects of climate change, we will be working closely with entities such as the SA Weather Service, to ensure infrastructure meets the needs of communities and that the increase in extreme weather events does not cause loss of life.  

To secure our food, avoid flood and drought damage and the health of present and future generations, we need to make sure that we meet the Constitutional Right of all South Africans to an environment that is not harmful to their health and well-being.  

The one area we need to scale up is the levels of public awareness about climate change and how various communities could ready themselves to deal with it. 

We need to make sure that early warning information reaches affected communities timeously, in spite of the limited resources, we have ensured that repairs and maintenance of SAWS equipment is not compromised so that we can continue to provide the requisite services. 


In order to constantly improve this service to the general public, the SAWS has recently introduced a new early warning service, called an Impact-Based Severe Weather Warning Service to provide early warning information to affected communities timeously. 

SAWS is also working on reaching the most vulnerable through community outreach workshops, using the District Delivery Model approach. 

To address climate change, the Department and partners have implemented a number of interventions at municipal level. 

I will mention some examples:

  • In the Overberg and Amatole districts a project to support building climate resilience of coastal communities, ecosystems and small-scale fishers is being implemented by WWF-South Africa.  In this project, aquaculture farming is being supported, and a mobile APP has been developed that serves as an early-warning system for small-scale fishers in the selected areas. 
  • In the Vhembe district, Women for Climate Justice South Africa is implementing a project to build climate resilience and reduce vulnerability of smallholder mango farmers in Hebron and Mutale, and surrounding communities.  Climate-smart methods of mango farming are being practised and training provided to communities. The project is looking at alternative sources of livelihoods, diversifying away from the vulnerable mango farming sector. 
  • In Sekhukhune, sustainable land use management projects are being implemented by the Kruger to Canyons Biosphere Reserve non-profit organisation. The project in the Kruger to Canyons Biosphere Region focuses largely on sustainable and climate-smart agriculture practices by employing rotational grazing in the Dinkwanyane and Phiring communities. The project also aims to facilitate access to markets for communities. 

Honourable Members, the Department, in partnership with the Government of Flanders is implementing adaptation projects associated with 3 different climate risks and typologies in the Amathole, Garden Route and uMzinyathi District Municipalities in the Eastern and Western Cape and KwaZulu-Natal over the next three years.  

This address water security and drought issues affecting the communities, the risk of fires and flooding and lightning. 

Chairperson, 

It is of no use to always boast that Africa has a wealth in biodiversity and wildlife, when in the reality, the majority of Black Africans continue to be deprived from being game farmers and landowners. 

Our Department’s Biodiversity Economy Programme and South Africa’s Transfrontier Conservation Areas – or TFCAs – seek to empower communities so they can manage their own eco-tourism projects within the cross-border environments. 

South Africa’s protected areas are not only important for biodiversity conservation, but also for eco-tourism and the development of the rural economy.  

The reviewed National Protected Areas Expansion Strategy aims to achieve cost effective protected areas expansion for improved ecosystem representation, ecological sustainability and resilience to climate change, while safeguarding more than 418 000 biodiversity-based jobs.  

As we recover from the severe impacts of this pandemic, we must not only address the short-term economic pain it has caused on our economy, but we must take the opportunity to ensure a more sustainable, just, and equitable society. 

Our recovery must improve the environment upon which our livelihood and well-being depend and must also tackle climate change and ensure social equity.

 The big investments in infrastructure must be measured against these values. 

While all of the measures are meant to ensure that we rebuild and restore the organisation and place it firmly on a green recovery trajectory, there are other important priorities that will be implemented over the MTEF period. 

This includes the implementation of a transformation programme while working on an organisation-wide culture change programme, which will entrench the need to work closely with communities. 

Jobs will continue to be created through the EPWP and Environmental Protection and Infrastructure Programme Extended Public Infrastructure Programme (EPIP) programmes. 

These jobs, albeit temporary, contribute to not only income generation, but also benefit the environment in areas of alien and invasive plant clearing and bush and veld fire management. 

Environment benefits arise from cleaning of coastal ecosystems, rehabilitation of wetlands and degraded landscapes, as well as waste management.

Some of these programmes result in the creation of new industries, for example furniture making and provision of recycling business opportunities. 

Through the EPWP programmes, SANParks will create over 23 000 FTE opportunities, 29 000 jobs for youth, 24 000 for women and 1 000 for people with disabilities. More than 2 000 SMMEs will be contracted to perform a variety of services.  These would include, with 400 of those contracted to exempted and qualifying micro enterprises. 

With regard to Park Expansion, SANParks, in partnership with WWF-SA, is undertaking a process to establish a new national park in the North East Grasslands of the Eastern Cape. 

It is important to stress that, partnerships will ensure ownership remains with communities. Meaningful economic development will be prioritised for these communities. 

This will allow SANParks to establish the basis of the national park and enable placement of staff and other resources in the region to be able to expand and support the national park without incurring the potentially prohibitive costs associated with the operational management of a larger area. 

Honourable Members,  

The protection of our environment is of the utmost importance.  This is an area that holds enormous wealth in terms of jobs and economic development with millions of people relying on nature for their livelihoods. 

The Department is supporting municipalities to include environmental priorities in Local Economic Development Plans, Disaster Management Plans and Integrated Development Plans 

Project specific interventions will include assistance with the upgrading and refurbishment of landfill sites and issuing of landfill site licenses, applications by municipalities to MIG for waste fleet funding, as well as assisting with funding and resources for waste cooperatives and waste pickers. 

Additional aid will be given in relation to the monitoring of atmospheric emissions and air quality, the management of municipal open spaces, and designation of wetlands of significance. 

Support will also be given to develop capacity and environmental education strategies to improve the competency of municipal personnel and improve environmental performance. 

The Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment annually participates in the IDP analysis sessions to assess the environmental sector governance in all 278 municipal IDPs across the country. 

Honourable Members, 

South Africa is a water-stressed country, but is also a country that boast almost 300 estuaries. 

Provinces will soon become the Responsible Management Authorities for these important water bodies, which means you will have the responsibility of developing and implementing Estuarine Management Plans for the estuaries within your jurisdictions. 

While the Department has a legal mandate to manage 6 estuaries, the rest fall within the mandate of the provinces. You are, therefore, urged to enter into Agreements with willing municipalities to take over the functions of the many estuaries.

At local level you are best placed to effectively manage the estuaries. Among the plans that have already been developed, a number of challenges stand out and will require commitment and dedication and strong co-ordination of all activities to be successfully addressed.  

These include poor infrastructure in waste water treatment works which affect the effective management of estuaries. 

This infrastructure, which is managed by municipalities, is poorly maintained overloaded, causing overflows and spills.  

In conclusion, 

We do not need to be reminded that climate change is intricately linked to almost all facets of our society, particularly socio-economic progression as resources such as water, feedstock in form of food, fibre, and biodiversity.  

These areas are at the base of many sectors of the economy, which in turn affect human development aspirations of the country.  Coastal settlements directly exposed to extreme weather events, such as storm surges are at risk as well. 

We would do well to work together to address all the challenges that face us as we adapt to, and mitigate, climate change as we create a nature-based economy from which all our people can benefit, without harming the environment. 

In conclusion, I would like to thank the Honourable Minister for her leadership in the forestry, fisheries and environment sectors, especially during the past year; and to again welcome, the Department’s Director-General, Ms Nomfundo Tshabalala.  

I thank the entire team in the Department for your support in the past year.  

I thank you all.

Courtesy: www.gov.za

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Environment, Forestry and Fisheries publishes Geographical areas for development

31 Mar 2021

Geographical areas for the development of renewable energy development zones gazettes

The geographical zones identified as important for the expansion of South Africa’s energy mix have been published for implementation.

The Notices are part of the alignment of regulations required for the effective implementation of national environmental management legislation in terms of the One Environmental System.  They will also contribute to the expansion of the country’s alternative energy mix as the country works towards a reduction in the reliance on coal for energy.

The publication in the government gazette of the development corridors for strategic gas transmission pipeline infrastructure, and large scale wind and solar photovoltaic energy facilities follows an extended public consultation period on the proposed Renewable Energy Development Zones and improved Environmental Impact Assessment processes in 2020.

Amendments to the procedures to apply for, and for decisions on, Environmental Authorisations (EA) for the development of alternative energy initiatives in what is known as the Renewable Energy Development Zones (REDZ) have also been published for implementation. The EA process has been shortened to allow for a smoother implementation of alternative energy growth in South Africa. Proactive site sensitivity work on the REDZ has been completed through two two-and-a-half year Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) processes. These determined the environmental sensitivity of each of the zones and corridors, and future renewable energy developments within identified zones in South Africa will require an environmental authorisation.

It is important to nnote that the Government Notice identifies and adds to, development corridors previously determined through three Strategic Environmental Assessments undertaken between 2016 and 2019.

All comments received during the extended period for public inputs in 2020 were taken into consideration when making the final decision on the corridors. With regard to the nature of the comments, several raised concerns about the contribution of greenhouse gas emissions to climate change and the risks of gas pipelines from a leakage and fire perspective.

South Africa has committed to a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and is working towards a low emission, climate-resilient economy and society. The Presidential Climate Commission is advising government on a just transition that will leave no-one behind.  In terms of the Integrated Resource Plan, a portion of the country’s energy mix is to be generated from gas. Gas is recognised worldwide as an enabling fuel for a just transition. The issue of risks was considered and evaluated through the strategic environmental assessment that was undertaken to identify the transmission corridors.

To access the comments made, and the Department’s response to these, click on: http://egis.environment.gov.za – Geographical Areas; and https://www.environment.gov.za/legislation/gazetted notices

With regard to the effect of the identification of corridors for REDZ development on landowners, none will be affected at this time.  

Should a decision be made to develop a gas pipeline, for example, in one of the corridors in the future, the property owner will be approached regarding servitude access.  The landowner will have to have granted approval in principle, for the servitude across his/her property, prior to the submission of the application for environmental authorisation to the competent authority.

The landowner would, therefore, be fully aware of any such proposed development.

The expansion of energy supply within the pre-assessed strategic corridors will assist the country as it moves towards a low carbon and climate-resilient economy.

To access the government gazettes, click on:

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