On the 2 August 2010, the new Environmental Impact Assessment Regulations came into effect. The Regulations align with the amendments made to the National Environmental Management Act (2008), and introduce a third listing.
The additional listing provides for geographical areas which will trigger the need for an environmental impact assessment, irrespective of other thresholds.
These geographical areas include
• Protected Environments (like the Magaliesberg Protected Area)
• World Heritage Sites (like the Cradle of Humankind)
• Nature Reserves (like Kgaswane Nature Reserve)
The “MEC's EIA Open Day” on 12 August saw MEC Nandi Mayathula-Khoza address a gathering of more than 500 people on the regulations. She explained that the new regulations were intended to streamline processes and ensure more efficient handling of applications.
However, she also appealed to developers to assist the Department. She urged proponents to stop applying for development rights on wetlands and ridges in the province. She emphasised that protecting water quality and quantity was one of the priorities for the province.