The Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment (DFFE) has invited the public to comment by 21 February 2022 on proposed amendments to the s24H Registration Authority Regulations, 2016 under National Environmental Management Act (hereafter NEMA).
The proposed amendments to NEMA mean that it will be much more difficult to appeal environmental impact assessments (EIA) under the Act. You (civil society) will no longer be free to make your own submissions to environmental decision-making processes, such as NEMA appeals and AEL license applications. Henceforth for some appeals, you will have to employ a registered Environmental Assessment Professional (EAP) to do so on your behalf. The requirement to appoint an EAP for certain additional ‘tasks’ makes the processes more complex, time consuming (given there are time-constraints applicable), potentially more expensive , and frustrates rather than promotes public participation. Those who cannot afford a registered EAP’s professional services will be effectively excluded from these public participation processes.
EAPs don’t normally work with civil society , with this amendment we would need to trust them to act in the public’s best interests.
This amendment places a serious constraint on the NEMA EIA appeal process, as well as some other environmental licensing and processes.
Individuals and organisations wishing to object to the proposed amendments should submit their written comments before 21 February 2022 to:
Department of Environment, Forestry & Fisheries
Attention: Mr Alvan Gabriel
By Email: email@example.com
Responding to Our Burning Planet on 7 February, Creecy and her department said publication of the amendments on 31 December was “due to unexpected delays in administrative processes and therefore comments received until 21 February 2022 will still be considered”.
SAFCEI will be submitting all comments sent by 18 February to the DFFE.
View SAFCEI’s submission here and below.
45703gon1655 – NEMA s24H REg Auth Regs
SAFCEI _ELA-JHB – Comments on Proposed Amendment of s24H Registration Authority Regulations (30 Jan 2022)