Environmental authorisations are required when specific physical thresholds are triggered under the Listed Activities of the National Environmental Management Act, Act 107 of 1998 of South Africa. The application for environmental authorisations have specific regulated requirements with the aim of promoting sustainability.  Authorisations are either in the form of a Basic Assessment (shorter of the two processes) or Scoping/Environmental Impact Assessment (longer of the two processes). Examples of Listed Activities include: 

  • “Development within 32 metres of a watercourse (Basic Assessment)” 
  • “The clearance of one hectare or more, but less than 20 hectares of indigenous vegetation (Basic Assessment)” 
  • “The the storage of a dangerous good (e.g. filling station), where such storage occurs in containers with a combined capacity of 80 cubic metres or more but not exceeding 500 cubic metres (Basic Assessment)”
  • “The clearance of an area of 20 hectares or more of indigenous vegetation (Scoping/Environmental Impact Assessment)” 
  • “The development of facilities or infrastructure for any process or activity which requires a permit or licence or an amended permit or licence in terms of national or provincial legislation governing the generation or release of emissions, pollution or effluent (Scoping/Environmental Impact Assessment)” 

Environmental authorisations aim to understand the constraints posed to the environment by the development and vice versa. Enhancing sustainability will likely enhance the value of a development. Besides being a legislative requirement, environmental authorisations have the potential to enhance the natural, built, cultural and socio-economic environments. 

For professional management on environmental authorisations, please contact NS Environmental