The EIA regulations have identified activities that may result in substantial impacts to the environment. The regulations require that an environmental impact assessment process be undertaken for these activities and submitted to the relevant authority for consideration. Commencement with any of the listed activities prior to obtaining authorization from the relevant authority is prohibited by these regulations and constitutes an offence. Unauthorized commencement or continuation of activities identified in terms of the Environment Impact Assessment Regulations can be rectified by means of a Section 24G application to the Minister or relevant MEC, depending on who will be the competent authority for such authorisation in accordance with the current delegations.
This rectification process can arise from the following activities:
- The development and related operation of facilities and infrastructure for the concentration of animals for the purpose of commercial production, where such exceed threshold levels.
- The development of canals, bridges, dams weirs, bulk storm-water outlet structures, marinas, jetties slipways, buildings, boardwalks, infrastructure or structures exceeding specified thresholds, where such development occurs within a watercourse or within 32 metres of a watercourse or exceed certain design parameters.
- Development in the sea, in an estuary, within the littoral active zone, within 100 metres of the high-water mark of the sea.
- The development of facilities of infrastructure for the storage and handling of a dangerous good, where such exceed specified thresholds.
- The removal indigenous vegetation which exceeds specified thresholds.
The opportunity to rectify is limited to a 6-month period. Should a person or company who has commenced or are continuing with an activity listed in the EIA Regulations not apply within the 6-month period he/she will be guilty of an offence and subject to an administrative fine not exceeding R5 000 000 or 10 year imprisonment or both such fine and such imprisonment.
The mandatory steps for this application are defined below:
|STEP 1||A person or company ascertains whether he/she/they are responsible for the commencement or continuation of an activity requiring authorisation in terms of the EIA Regulations without the necessary authorisation|
|STEP 2||An application for rectification is submitted by hand to the department|
|STEP 3||The application is reviewed. This may include a site inspection to verify information provided. Based on the review of the application, the applicant will be advised on further information required to consider the application (+/- 90 days)|
|STEP 4||The Minister or relevant MEC advise the applicant on further procedural and information requirements by means of a notice. This may include the compilation of a report after conducting prescribed public consultation. The Minister or relevant MEC will also advise the applicant on the administration fine payable and details of the account where monies must be deposited. The amount of the fine will be within the parameters indicated above.|
|STEP 5||The applicant follows the process prescribed by the Minister or relevant MEC and pay the fine|
|STEP 6||The applicant submits the required reports together with proof of payment of the fine to the department.|
|STEP 7||The department reviews the reports and advises the Minister or relevant MEC to inform his decision|
|STEP 8||The Minister or relevant MEC communicates his decision to the applicant. This decision could be either: * issue the applicant with an environmental authorisation; or * issue the applicant with a directive instructing him to cease with the activity and rehabilitate the environment The Minister’s or relevant MEC’s decision should however be finalised within 120 calendar days from submission of the prescribed report|
|STEP 9||The applicant implements the Minister’s or relevant MEC’s decision|