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  • Roxanne Smith

CLEARING THE AIR | Volume 2 - 1 of 8

Updated: Sep 26, 2023

Major changes to South Africa’s Environmental Legal Regime stemming from the National Environmental Management Laws Amendment Act



Did you do all that in one breath? Let’s just call it NEMLA4 shall we?


30 June 2023 is a date that will no doubt go down in history as one of the most significant dates in the context of South African environmental law. This was when our President published a proclamation notice determining that the majority of the sections in the National Environmental Management Laws Amendment Act 2 of 2022 (NEMLA4) will come into operation on 30 June 2023. It is significant to note that this proclamation notice specifically excluded certain sections of NEMLA4 . This is big, big like the launch of Barbie Movie BIG!


Generally speaking, the NEMLA4 aims to clarify and address numerous issues in South Africa’s environmental legal regime in order to ensure that the NEMA and the Specific Environmental Management Acts can be implemented more effectively.


We will be updating our ‘Clearing the Air’ series which explains some of the most pertinent changes in more detail. The series will focus on the effect of NEMLA4 on specific provisions under each of the following Acts:

  • Amendments to the National Environmental Management Act 107 of 1998 (NEMA);

  • Amendments to the National Environmental Management: Protected Areas Act 57 of 2003 (NEMPAA);

  • Amendments to the National Environmental Management: Biodiversity Act 10 of 2004 (NEMBA);

  • Amendments to the National Environmental Management: Air Quality Act 39 of 2004 (NEMAQA);

  • Amendments to the National Environmental Management: Integrated Coastal Management Act 24 of 2008 (NEMICMA);

  • Amendments to the National Environmental Management: Waste Act 59 of 2008 (NEMWA); and

  • Amendments to specific transitional provisions under the National Environmental Management Amendment Act 62 of 2008 (NEMAA).


Keep a look out for our series!



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