Posted on: March 23, 2009 Posted by: Diane Swarts Comments: 0

Please take note that it was notified in Government Gazette Number 32000 of 10 January 2009 that the President has assented to the National Environmental Management: Waste Act, No. 59 of 2008. The Act was published for general information.

The aim of this act is to:

·Reform the law regulating waste management in order to protect health and the environment by providing reasonable measures for the prevention of pollution and ecological degradation and for securing ecologically sustainable development;

·Provide for institutional arrangements and planning matters;

·Provide for national norms and standards for regulating the management of waste by all spheres of government;

·Provide for specific waste management measures;

·Provide for the licensing and control of waste management activities;

·Provide for the remediation of contaminated land; to provide for the national waste information system;

·Provide for compliance and enforcement;

·Provide for matters connected therewith.

The preamble to the NEMWA, 59 of 2008 stipulates as follows:

WHEREAS everyone has the constitutional right to have an environment that is not harmful to his or her health and to have the environment protected for the benefit of present and future generations through reasonable legislative and other measures that—

a)Prevent pollution and ecological degradation;

b)Promote conservation: and

c)Secure ecologically sustainable development and use of natural resources while promoting justifiable economic and social development;

AND WHEREAS waste management practices in many areas of the Republic are not conducive to a healthy environment and the impact of improper waste management practices are often borne disproportionately by the poor;

AND WHEREAS poor waste management practices can have an adverse impact both locally and globally;

AND WHEREAS sustainable development requires that the generation of waste is avoided, or where it cannot be avoided, that it is reduced, re-used, recycled or recovered and only as a last resort treated and safely disposed of:

AND WHEREAS the minimisation of pollution and the use of natural resources through vigorous control, cleaner technologies, cleaner production and consumption practices, and waste minimisation are key to ensuring that the environment is protected from the impact of waste:

AND WHEREAS waste under certain circumstances is a resource and offers economic opportunities;

AND WHEREAS waste and management practices relating to waste are matters that—

·Require national legislation to maintain essential national standards;

·In order to be dealt with effectively, require uniform norms and standards that apply throughout the Republic; and

·In order to promote and give effect to the right to an environment that is not harmful to health and well-being, have to apply uniformly throughout the Republic; and

·Require strategies, norms and standards which seek to ensure best waste practices within a system of co-operative governance.

Section 81 Transitional provisions in respect of permits issued in terms of Environment Conservation Act

1.Despite the repeal of section 20 of the Environment Conservation Act by this Act, a permit issued in terms of that section remains valid subject to subsections (2) and (3).

2.The holder of a permit issued in terms of section 20 of the Environment Conservation Act must apply for a waste management licence in terms of this Act, when required lo do so by the licensing authority, in writing, and within the period stipulated by the licensing authority.

3.A permit issued in terms of section 20 of the Environment Conservation Act lapses—

a)if a waste management licence is issued in terms of this Act to the same person in respect of the same waste management activity;

b)if the holder of the permit did not apply, within the stipulated period, for a waste management licence within the period contemplated in subsection (2); or

c)if the licensing authority refuses an application contemplated in subsection (2).

4.If a permit issued in terms of section 20 of the Environment Conservation Act lapses as contemplated in subsection (3)(b) or (c), the permit holder remains liable for taking all measures that are necessary to ensure that the cessation of the activity is done in a manner that does not result in harm to health or the environment.

5.During the period for which a permit issued in terms of section 20 of the Environment Conservation Act continues to be valid, the provisions of this Act apply in respect of the holder of such a permit, as if that person were the holder of a waste management licence issued in terms of this Act.

6.Despite the repeal of section 20 of the Environment Conservation Act by this Act an application for a permit made in terms of section 20 of the Environment Conservation Act that was not decided when section 81 of this Act look effect, must be proceeded with in terms of (his Act as if that application were an application for a waste management licence in terms of this Act.

Section 82 Transitional provision regarding listed waste management activities

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 1 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 this Act.

Section 84 Short title and commencement

This Act is called the National Environmental Management: Waste Act, 2008 and takes effect on a date determined by the Minister by proclamation in the Gazette.
Different dales may be so determined for different provisions of this Act.

Amendment/Repeal of Legislation

·Environment Conservation Act, Act 73 of 1989

The amendment of section 1 by the deletion of the definitions of “disposal site ” and ” waste”.

The repeal of sections 19, 19A. 20,  24. 24A, 24B and 24C.

The amendment of section 29—

by the substitution for subsection (3) of the following subsection:

“(3) Any person who [contravenes a provision of section 19 or 19A or fails to comply therewith, or] fails to comply with a direction in terms of section 31 A( 1) or (2), or prevents any person authorized in terms of section 41A to enter upon such land or hinders him or her in the execution of his or her powers, shall be guilty of an offence and liable on conviction lo a line, or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding three months.”: and

by the substitution for subsection (4) of the following subsection:

“(4) Any person who contravenes a provision of section [20(1), 20(9) ,] 22( 1) or 23(2) [or a direction issued under section 20(8)] or fails to comply with [a condition of a permit, permission or] an authorization [or direction] issued [or granted) under the said provisions shall be guilty of an offence and liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding R100 000 or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding 10 years or to both such line and such imprisonment, and to a fine not exceeding three times the commercial value of any thing in respect of which the offence was committed.”

·Environment Conservation Amendment Act, Act 79 of 1992

The repeal of sections 8 and 9.

·Government Notice No. 1986, of 1 August 1990

The repeal of the whole.

· Government Notice No. 292, of 28 February 2003

The repeal of the whole.

A copy of this document is accessible through the Implex Website at:  http://www.implex.co.za/legisl_8.html

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