The Department of Environmental Affairs:
The DEA is responsible for the Legal Authorization and Compliance Inspectorate. NEMA makes provision for obtaining environmental authorisations from the competent authority prior to undertaking listed activities. Activities that are listed in either in Listing 1 or in Listing 2 require Environmental Authorisation before commencement
(see respective documents).
Depending on the type of activity, the Application for Authorisation must either be subjected to a Basic
Assessment (smaller scale activities, the impacts of which are generally known and can be easily managed) or the more thorough Scoping and EIA (likely to have significant impacts that cannot be easily predicted; therefore higher risk activities that
are associated with potentially higher levels of pollution, waste and environmental degradation).
The applicant can also apply to the Competent Authority for exemption from any provision of the Environmental Impact Assessment Regulations.
Issue of a Compliance Notice
Where a company is failing to comply with provisions of an environmental statute, a compliance notice may be issued by the DEA. When issuing a compliance notice, the DEA does not have to believe there
is any actual harm to the environment from the transgression but simply that there is non-compliance with a technical, legally binding requirement.
Issues of a Directive
The DEA also has power to issue a directive. Unlike a compliance notice the authorities may only issue a directive if they believe that actions by the company are actually causing pollution or other damage or
degradation to the environment. The obligation in the statutes is to take reasonable measures to avoid such pollution or damage.
NECER National Environmental Compliance and Enforcement Report
The NECER is a communication mechanism that tells the public about the work of the Inspectorate in the preceding financial year. It also provides a national overview of environmental compliance and enforcement activities undertaken by relevant institutions
across the country.