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Comment Sought on NEMLA Bill

February 4, 2019

Select Committee on Land and Mineral Resources

The national council of provinces (NCOP) has called for comment on the National Environmental Management Laws Amendment Bill.

The bill was passed by the national assembly and sent to the NCOP for concurrence in November 2018.

The bill was tabled in May 2017.

It was remitted back to the portfolio committee on environmental affairs in September 2018 prior to its second reading debate in the national assembly.

The committee adopted the bill in June 2018 and sent it to the national assembly for its second reading debate scheduled for 4 September 2018.

However, the former environmental affairs minister, Edna Molewa, wrote to the speaker of parliament, Baleka Mbete, requesting the postponement of the second reading debate.

The bill seeks to amend a raft of environmental legislation including the National Environmental Management Act, National Environmental Management: Protected Areas Act, National Environmental Management: Biodiversity Act, National Environmental Management: Waste Act and the National Environmental Management Amendment Act.

It aims to provide for clarity on certain matters and textual amendments.

The proposed legislation seeks to put in place a single application process for licences and permits and allow for the issuing of integrated licences and authorisations.

In terms of the one environmental system provisions, the bill seeks to provide for simultaneous submission of all environmental applications linked to mining activities and clarify that the mineral resources minister is responsible for implementation of the licensing system for waste activity flowing from mining operations.

During its deliberations, the committee introduced new provisions in the bill that were not contained in the tabled bill.

The select committee on land and mineral resources seeks comment on the bill until 28 February 2019.