NATIONAL ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT: WASTE ACT, 2008 (ACT NO. 59 OF 2008)
CONSULTATION ON INTENTION TO REQUIRE A PERSON WHO CONDUCTS A WASTE MANAGEMENT ACTIVITY LISTED UNDER THE NATIONAL ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT: WASTE ACT, 2008 (ACT NO. 59 OF 2008) ON THE DATE OF COMING INTO EFFECT OF THE ACT, AND WHO IMMEDIATELY, BEFORE THAT DATE, LAWFULLY CONDUCTED THAT WASTE MANAGEMENT ACTIVITY UNDER GOVERNMENT NOTICE NO. 91 OF 01 FEBRUARY 2002, TO APPLY FOR A WASTE MANAGEMENT LICENCE UNDER THE ACT
I, Nomvula Paula Mokonyane, Minister of Environmental Affairs, hereby, under Section 82, read with Sections 72 and 73 of the National Environmental Management: Waste Act, 2008 (Act No. 59 of 2008), give notice of my intention to require any person who lawfully conducted a hazardous waste management activity on the date of coming into effect of the Waste Act, namely 01 July 2009, to apply for a waste management licence as provided in the Schedule hereto.
Before 01 July 2009, waste management activities were regulated in a fragmented way by different environmental legislation such as the Environment Conservation Act, 1989 (Act No. 73 of 1989) (ECA) and the National Water Act, 1998 (Act No. 36 of 1998) (NWA).
Waste management activities are currently conducted lawfully if the holders are in possession of any of the following historic authorisations issued to them by the competent authority at the time:
a) Environmental Authorisations or Records of Decision (RoD);
b) Permits issued under the Environment Conservation Act, 1989;
c) Exemptions issued by the Department of Water and Sanitation under the Environment Conservation Act, 1989;
d) Directives issued by the Department of Water and Sanitation under the Environment Conservation Act, 1989; or
e) Registration Certificates issued by the Department of Water and Sanitation under the Environment Conservation Act, 1989.
As a result, there has been, and still is, confusion or ambiguities regarding the lawfulness or unlawfulness of a number of waste management activities being conducted, which creates challenges from a compliance and enforcement perspective.
The transitional provision regarding listed waste management activities in Section 82 gives the Minister of Environmental Affairs the power to call on all current lawful users to apply for a waste management licence in terms of the National Environmental Management: Waste Act, 2008, thereby ensuring uniformity and consistency. Environment Conservation Act, 1989; Section 82 states that:
“A person who conducts a waste management activity listed in Schedule 1 on the date of coming into effect of this Act, and who immediately before that date lawfully conducted that waste management activity under Government Notice no. 91 of 01 February 2002, may continue with the activity until such time that the Minister, by notice in the Gazette, directs that person to apply for a waste management licence under the Act”.
Section 82 will, therefore, ensure legal clarity on how lawful waste management activities are dealt with from the compliance and enforcement perspective.
The aim of the Notice is to require a person, who conducted and is still conducting a hazardous waste management activity listed in Schedule 1 when the Environment Conservation Act, 1989, came into effect on 01 July 2009, and who immediately before that date lawfully conducted that activity under Government Notice No. 91 of 1 February 2002, to apply for a waste management licence in terms of Section 82 of the Act.
In terms of the Notice, lawful users are required to apply for a waste management licence in terms of the Act within a period of one year after publication of the Notice.
The intended outcomes of the Notice are that:
• The holders of valid authorisations (permits, exemptions, directives, registration certificates, environmental authorisations) for hazardous waste activities which commenced or were conducted before the coming into effect of the National Environmental Management: Waste Act, 2008, are granted one year to apply for a waste management licence under the National Environmental Management: Waste Act, 2008 to continue legally with that waste management activity.
• Waste management activities which commenced before 1 July 2009 without a valid permit, exemption, directive, registration certificate or environmental authorisation, must apply for a waste management licence immediately and the waste management activities which commenced after 1 July 2009 without a valid waste management licence are regarded as illegal activities and should apply for a Section 24G approval.
• The Section 82 Notice will apply to all hazardous waste management activities, which include but is not limited to waste disposal, landfilling, recycling, reuse, treatment and recovery of waste.
Members of the public are invited to submit to the Minister, within 30 days after publication of this notice in the Gazette, written representations on, or objections to, the following addresses:
By post to: The Director-General, Department of Environmental Affairs, Attention:Mr Anben Pillay, Director: Waste and Chemicals Policy and Information Management. Private Bag X447, PRETORIA, 0001.
By hand at: Ground Floor (Reception), Environment House, 473 Steve Biko Road, Arcadia, Pretoria 0001.
By email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Any enquiries in connection with the notice can be directed to:
Mr Anben Pillay at Tel: 012 399 9827.
The proposed Section 82 Government Notice can also be accessed at http://sawic.environment.gov.za, under “Draft documents for comment”.
Comments received after the closing date may not be considered.