Janice Tooley, Partner, Shepstone & Wylie (Environmental and Clean Energy Law Department)
On 30 October 2015, Minister Edna Molewa gave notice of her intention to amend the
Environmental Impact Assessment Regulations, 2014 and Listing Notices 1, 2 and 3 of 2014 (GN 1030, GG39343, 30 October 2015).
The deadline for comment is 30 November 2015.
Most of the proposed changes to the EIA Regulations are minor and are intended to improve synergy and clarity within the regulations themselves and with the enabling provisions in NEMA and future notices.
Notably, all references to Listing Notice 4 are to be removed and provisions inserted to rely on the future exceptions that the Minister may publish by way of a notice in the Government Gazette. These exceptions will relate to the manner, the need or the ability to obtain environmental authorization and the applicable instances and/or geographical areas identified and are intended to apply to activities that are:
Amendments to regulation 54 will require that an application for an amendment of a MPRDA- approved EMPr or EMP submitted after the 8 December 2014 be dealt with in terms of Part 4 of Chapter 5 of the 2014 EIA Regulations and not Part 1 and 2 as is currently required. Another notable amendment is the insertion of regulation 54A which will provide for transitional arrangements related to prospecting or exploration of a mineral or petroleum resource or extraction and primary processing of a mineral or petroleum resource, specifically in relation to environmental authorisation and auditing requirements.
In Listing Notice 1, there are minor amendments proposed to 7 of the 67 listed activities, namely, 1, 19, 32, 36, 48, 49 and 67.
The Listing Notice 2 activities for which amendments are being proposed are 1, 21 and 27.
Although Listing Notice 3 will be substituted in its entirety, the changes are predominantly structural. The 26 activities will retain their current wording but the third column which contains a description of the geographical areas based on environmental attributes is to be presented per province and no longer as a combined description as is the current situation for the Free State, Limpopo,Mpumalanga and Northern Cape provinces.
Mansoor Parker, ENS executive (tax)
Andrew Gilder, ENS senior associate (carbon markets specialist, environmental)
On Monday, 2 November 2015, the South African National Treasury published a Draft Carbon Tax Bill (the “Bill”) for public comment, with the comment period commencing immediately and continuing until 15 December 2015. At first glance, the Bill does not stray too far from the carbon tax design that Treasury has been proposing since 2010 in various discussion papers, national budget speeches and their associated explanatory memoranda and responses to stakeholder commentary on the design. The Bill does not change the essentials, but it does progress certain of the detail while providing only a tantalising glimpse of some of the more interesting aspects of the design. While the proposed tax is vaunted as the carbon tax, this is not the only or the first carbon tax imposed in South Africa. Emissions on new vehicles are subject to emissions taxation and approximately five years ago, the fossil fuel electricity levy was introduced. These are both taxes on greenhouse gas emissions, as is the proposed carbon tax.
The following high-level points are important to note in relation to the Bill: