Lead South Africa’s environmental sector to achieve sustainable development
towards a better quality of life
The Department of Environmental Affairs is mandated to give effect to the
right of citizens to an environment that is not harmful to their health or
wellbeing, and to have the environment protected for the benefit of present
and future generations. To this end, the department provides leadership in
environmental management, conservation and protection towards sustainability
for the benefit of South Africans and the global community.
This mandate is derived from the following legislation:
the National Environmental Management Act (1998), which provides for issue specific legislation on: biodiversity and heritage resources; oceans and coasts; climate change and air quality management; and waste and chemicals management
the National Environmental Management Amendment Act (2004), which streamlines the process of regulating and administering the environmental impact assessment process
the National Environmental Management: Protected Areas Amendment Act (2009), which provides for the assignment of national parks, special parks and heritage sites to South Africa in terms of the World Heritage Convention Act (1999)
the National Environmental Management: Biodiversity Act (2004), which significantly reforms South Africa’s laws regulating biodiversity
the National Environmental Management: Air Quality and Atmospheric Act (2004), which reforms the law regulating air quality in order to protect the environment by providing reasonable measures for preventing pollution and ecological degradation, securing ecologically sustainable development, and provides for national norms and standards regulating air quality monitoring
the National Environmental Management: Waste Act (2008), which reforms the law regulating waste management in order to protect health and the environment by providing reasonable measures for the prevention of pollution
the National Environmental Management: Integrated Coastal Management Act (2008), which promotes the conservation of the coastal environment and ensures sustainable development practices and the use of natural resources.
The Estimates of National Expenditure (ENE) sets out the detailed spending plans of each government department for the coming year.
National Treasury, departments and commitees are busy with different things depending on the time of year: