SA rolls out ‘One Environment System’

Pretoria: Government has started to roll out the “One Environmental System”, which will initiate the streamlining of the licensing processes for mining, environmental authorisations and water use.

The system represents government’s commitment to improve the ease of doing business and further enhances South Africa’s global competitiveness as a mining investment jurisdiction.

“Under the One Environmental System, the Minister of Mineral Resources will issue environmental authorisations and waste management licences in terms of the National Environmental Management Act, 1998 (Act No. 107 of 1998) (NEMA), and the National Environmental Management: Waste Act, 2008 (Act No. 59 of 2008), respectively, for mining and related activities,” the Departments of Mineral Resources and Environment Affairs and Water Affairs said in a joint statement.

Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa would be the appeal authority for these authorisations.

The Ministers of Environmental Affairs, Mineral Resources as well as Water and Sanitation have agreed on fixed time-frames for the consideration and issuing of the permits, licences and authorisations in their respective legislation.

The Ministers have further agreed to synchronise the process for the issuing of permits, licences and authorisations within a 300 day period.

“In the event that a decision to issue a license is appealed, an additional maximum period of 90 days is provided for legislatively, to finalise the process.”

Until all the requisite legislative amendments have been effected to formalise the abovementioned timeframes, the timeframes stipulated in NEMA would be applicable.