Submission: Amendments to NEMA (South Africa)

The Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries has invited the public to comment by 31st January 2022 on proposed amendments to the s24H Registration Authority Regulations, 2016 under National Environmental Management Act (NEMA).

Natural Justice made comments on the 31 January 2022. In Summary, the comments argue that Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs) will be much more difficult to appeal under NEMA as a result of the proposed amendments. Landowners and occupiers, communities, and civil society organizations will no longer be able to make their own submissions to environmental decision-making processes like NEMA appeals and AEL license applications. They will now have to hire a registered Environmental Assessment Professional (EAP) to handle some appeals on their behalf. The requirement to appoint an EAP for certain additional ‘tasks’ makes the processes more complicated, time-consuming (given the time constraints), potentially more expensive, and frustrates rather than encourages public participation.

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