Pollution control and waste management
The Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism ('the Department') has recognised that they are not always successful in policing and enforcing environmental laws. However, the Department is making strides to meet these challenges and to ensure that our laws are practically implemented.
In March 2000, the Department published its White Paper on Integrated Pollution and Waste Management ('the White Paper'). The White Paper proposes a number of tools to implement the objectives of the waste management policy it sets out. The promulgation of new pollution and waste legislation such as the amendments to the Environment Conservation Act, 73 of 1989 ('ECA') comprise one such tool. The objective of the Environment Conservation Act: Amendment Bill, 2003 ('the Amendment Bill') is to facilitate government's general policy on integrated pollution control and waste management so as to give effect to waste management as proposed in the White Paper. The Amendment Bill will amend the ECA in three separate ways: • the management of waste sites will be transferred from the Minister of Water Affairs and Forestry to the Minister of Environmental Affairs and Tourism ('the Minister'); • the Minister will have the power to make regulations for the imposition of compulsory charging for identified waste streams (for example, plastic bags) and deposit systems (for example, second-hand non-reusable tyres); and • the Minister will have the power to make regulations regarding products which, by their nature, may pose a hazard to the environment and/or human health if and when they reach the waste stream (for example, asbestos products). Transfer of power
The ECA governs environmental waste pollution. In particular, the ECA provides for the permitting and related control measures for the operation of waste landfill sites. The ECA specifically stipulates that the Minister of Water Affairs and Forestry should administer these...
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