Four Frameworks, One Region

In the past few years a number of Environmental Management Frameworks have been compiled over the wider region.

An EMF is a management and decision support tool that strives to provide authorities with a glimpse into the ‘state of environment’, and gives planning parameters. Its purpose is to identify and map sensitive environments, and classify development or land use which is appropriate to the described environments. It is also an instrument which can be used to determine conservation priorities.

The study for Cradle of Humankind and the extended buffer is now in the final stage. The opportunity to comment on the Environmental Management Framework and Management Plan closed on 2 March 2011.

Mogale City issued a draft Status Quo report in August 2010, and closing date for comment on the Draft Environmental Management Framework was 18 February.

The local metro authorities Johannesburg and Tshwane were covered by a GDARD EMF in 2009, including the Rhenosterspruit Nature Conservancy bordering the Cradle.

Madibeng’s EMF for the region was published in 2009.

These strategic planning frameworks require authorities to ensure the zones determined for different activities are complementary, specifically on the borders. The Cradle and Madibeng EMFs highlighted an area of contention in the Broederstroom area.

Editor's Note: by June 2013 neither the Cradle EMF nor the GDARD EMF were yet published.  An EMF should be regularly updated, and the guidelines is every five years

The EMF sets out information on the "state of the environment".  An EMF will be used by regulatory authorities in several different ways. For example -

  • Environmental authorities may consider the information contained in the EMF when undertaking compliance and enforcement activities, such as investigations regarding compliance with the duty of care
  • Municipalities may consider the EMF in making decisions on planning applications and in discharging their constitutional obligation to take environmental matters into account in the development of planning documents such as Integrated Development Plans (IDPs) and Spatial Development Frameworks (SDFs).

Benefits which may arise from the EMF include -

  • Consistent decisions by officials in different regulatory authorities will be facilitated;
  • Regulatory authorities’ responsibilities  will be carried out in an efficient and informed manner; and
  • Members of the public are able to make informed decisions regarding proposals for development

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