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Post: Extension of the compulsory registration date for environmental assessment practitioners and comment period for amendments to the section 24h registration authority regulations published

The Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and Environment , Ms Barbara Creecy, has extended the public consultation period for comment on the proposed amendment to the Section 24H Registration Authority Regulations to 21 February 2022.

The Minister has also granted a six-month extension to the compulsory deadline for the registration of Environmental Assessment Practitioners (EAPs) in terms of the amended Section 24H Regulations, until 8 August 2022. 

The extension to the compulsory registration deadline for the registration of EAPs was published in Government Gazette 45883 (Notice No. 1733) on 7 February 2022 in terms of the National Environmental Management Act. 

Proposed amendments to the Section 24H Regulations, including the proposed six-month extension, were published for public consultation on 31 December 2021.

Due to the late gazetting of the proposed amendments, the EAP registration deadline of 8 February 2022 has been extended to allow the consideration of comments emanating from the public consultation process that ensued at the end of December 2021. At the same time, the extension will allow non-registered EAPs to submit applications for registration to Environmental Assessment Practitioners Association of South Africa (EAPASA), which has 120 days to process applications.  

As of mid-February 2022, 435 EAPs and 73 candidate EAPs had been registered.  A total of 2 972 applications are pending.  EAPs are strongly encouraged to continue to submit their applications for registration to the EAPASA in the interim.

The amendments to the Section 24H Regulations are required in order to provide contextual clarity and certainty on who is required to be registered as an EAP and by when. The proposed amendment also addresses potential implementation challenges.

Registration of EAPs will be done in a phased manner. Practitioners performing tasks linked to Environmental Impact Assessments in terms of the Environmental Impact Assessment Regulations, the Section 24G of the National Environmental Management Act and dealing with waste management licences (WMLs) in terms of the National Environmental Management: Waste Act are required to register by 8 August 2022.

EAPs performing tasks other than these, including appeals, will be registered on dates to be announced. 

Certain role-players in the EIA, NEMA section 24G and WML application processes are explicitly excluded from the requirement to be registered based on reasons of rationality and practicality.  These are final decision-makers, such as the Minister, Members of the Executive Council (MECs), Heads of Departments (HODs) and delegated decision-makers; persons who prepare and submit comment on documents; and persons who investigate, assess, prepare and submit specialist reports.

The intention of the inclusion of appeals in the Regulations is to ensure that officials administering appeals within the respective appeal authorities are registered EAPs. This is because they are often required to review technical documents, such as scoping reports, environmental impact assessment reports and specialist reports. The intention of the registration requirement is to professionalise the EAP sector. It will also ensure the submission of quality and reliable reports as part of the application processes and ensure that the recommendations are from technically qualified officials and consultants who advise the official acting under a delegated authority, the Minister, MECs or HODs on applications and appeals.

The Minister recognises that there is a right in law for affected parties to both request the reasons for administrative actions and decisions and to appeal those actions and decisions. It is also recognized that systems regulating appeal processes should be designed in such a way that they are accessible and affordable to all and particularly the poor.  Given this, it is important that stakeholders who are of the view that the current amendments curtail the above rights, ensure their views are heard by raising their concerns through the public comment process.  

The Government Notice announcing the extension of the comment period, and registration for EAPs, can be accessed by clicking on:   www.dffe.gov.za/sites/default/files/gazetted_notices/Nema_registrationauthorityregulations_g45883gon1733.pdf

For media inquiries contact Albi Modise on 083 490 2871

Source: The Department of Forestry, Fisheries and Environment  

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  • Afrequip
  • Latschbacher
  • Alternative Structures Logo
  • Arxada
  • Bell
  • Ezigro Seedlings
  • Foresta Timber & Board
  • FSC
  • Hin-Tech Manufacturing
  • Husqvarna
  • John Deere
  • Khulani Timber Industries
  • Kwamahlati Training Services
  • LESH
  • Loadtech Load Cells
  • Logmech
  • Merensky
  • Mondi
  • Those who grow alone, die alone: why transformation is strategic for the MTO Group
  • NCT
  • Pangolin
  • Patula Risk
  • Ponsse
  • Rance Timbers
  • Sabie Poles
  • SAFCOL
  • Sappi
  • Saw Specialists
  • SAWPA
  • SSA
  • Stihl
  • Sunshine Seedling Services
  • Treated Timber Products
  • TWK
  • UCL Sawmill
  • Wood-Mizer
  • WoodBiz Africa
  • Wuhlf

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