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National Norms and Standards for the Treatment of Organic Waste Drafted

March 31, 2021

Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries

Draft National Norms and Standards for the Treatment of Organic Waste have been drawn up.

The environment, forestry and fisheries department published the Draft Norms and Standards in Government Gazette 44340 for comment.

They were drafted in terms of the National Environmental Management: Waste Act.

The Draft Norms and Standards aim to control the processing of organic waste material at any facility that falls within the threshold as described in paragraph 3 in order to avoid, prevent or minimise potential negative impacts on the biophysical environment.

They focus on application; feedstocks and technologies; minimum requirements for the design and planning phase; minimum requirements for the construction phase; minimum requirements for security and access control; operation; general requirements; management of incidents; operational monitoring, auditing and reporting; minimum requirements during decommissioning phase; training and capacity building and transitional arrangements.

Comment is invited within 30 days of the date of publication.

Meanwhile, in Gazette 44341, the department announced the adoption of the Generic Environmental Management Programme for the LandCare Programme (version 0 of October 2020) in terms of the National Environmental Management Act.

The department also excludes identified activities relating to the implementation of the LandCare Programme from the need to obtain environmental authorisation.

In a separate matter, the department announced the launch of South Africa’s updated Draft Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) for public consultation.

In a statement, the department indicated that the updated draft NDC, approved by cabinet on 24 March 2021, is “South Africa’s commitment in terms of United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and its Paris Agreement (PA) to contribute to the global climate change effort”.

The 26th International Climate Change Conference will be held in Glasgow, Scotland, in November 2021.

“The launch of the updated NDC is the start of a consultation process that will consist of a number of virtual consultations until the end of May 2021 with other government departments through the inter-governmental committee on climate change (IGCCC), broader stakeholders through the National Committee on Climate Change (NCCC) and a number of targeted virtual consultations with interest groups and representative formations including business, labor, civil society, the agricultural and energy sectors.”

Input on the Draft NDC is invited until 30 April 2021.

In the realm of forests, the deputy minister of environment, forestry and fisheries, Makhotso Sotyu, recently referred to the Commercial Forestry Sector Masterplan, approved by cabinet last year.

Speaking during the International Day of Forests last week, the deputy minister described the Masterplan as “essentially a growth, transformation and investment plan”.

“The six key focus areas of the Masterplan are aimed at addressing the following key issues that will result in the growth of the sector: Expansion of the forestry resource, Transformation of the sector, Value addition and processing, Timber theft and illegal activities, Research, Development, Innovation and Skills Development, and Key inhibitors to the growth of the sector.”

The deputy minister pointed out that, in preparation for implementation, the department is busy with the “finalisation of the new structure and reconfiguration of the Branch: Forestry Management in line with the governance structure that was adopted in the Masterplan”.