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  • Roxanne Smith

CLEARING THE AIR | Volume 2 - 6 of 8

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


The National Environmental Management Laws Amendment Act 2 of 2022 (NEMLA4) has resulted in one amendment to the National Environmental Management: Integrated Coastal Management Act 24 of 2008 (NEMICMA).

Section 60(1) of NEMICMA has been amended to allow for the removal or repair of structures, on or within a coastal zone that were erected prior to NEMICMA commencing. (For more about buildings that somehow manage to exist on but not within a coastal zone and vice versa, refer to the rules of the Twilight Zone). The wording “either prior to or after the commencement of this Act” has been inserted to the provision empowering the Minister / MEC to issue a written repair or removal notice. Furthermore, the amendment has extended the ambit to structures that previously have had an adverse effect on the coastal environment by virtue of its existence*, because of its condition, or because it has been abandoned. Don’t feel bad for buildings that have been abandoned. Most have their own poor decisions to blame.

It is important to note that the entirety of Chapter 9 of NEMICMA will be repealed in terms of NEMLA4 on a date fixed by the President by proclamation in the Gazette. “Repealed” should not be confused with Re Peel, which is a rejuvenating all-natural skin exfoliator used extensively in Vietnam, which you can find here: #ThisIsTotallyNotAPlug.

Chapter 9 of NEMICMA sets out all the provisions related to appeals under NEMICMA. Therefore, in future, appeals under NEMICMA must be dealt with in terms of section 43 of National Environmental Management Act 107 of 1998 (NEMA). This will align with how appeals are dealt with under the various other Specific Environmental Management Acts.

*Unfortunately for certain lobbyists in Durban, and despite the rule being applied retrospectively, said structures do not include those mini gazebos we Gautengers like to erect on their beaches in Summer.

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