Most Read Contributor in South Africa, September 2016
On 11 November 2011, the Department of Environmental Affairs
published a General Notice ("GN 784") stating the
intention of the Minister of Environmental Affairs
("Minister") to prescribe a fee structure for
applications for environmental authorisations ("EA") in
terms of the National Environmental Management, 107 of 1998
("NEMA") and waste management licences ("WML")
in terms of the National Environmental Management Waste Act, 59 OF
GNR 784 was published in terms of, inter alia, section 24(5)(c)
of NEMA which gives the Minister the authority to prescribe fees
for, inter alia, the consideration and processing of applications
for EAs as well as section 45(2)(a) of NEMWA which provides that an
application for a WML must be accompanied by the prescribed
The proposed fee structure is not applicable to all applications
and matters related to environmental authorisations as GNR 784
excludes the following:
An application for rectification of the unlawful commencement
of an activity in terms of s24G of NEMA.
An application for an exemption from certain environmental
authorisations or environmental management plans or
An application where the applicant is an organ of state.
The fee structure pertains to a non-refundable fee that will be
payable by an applicant to the competent authority for
consideration and processing of an application for either an EA or
WML. GNR 784 makes it clear that the prescribed fees will be
charged per EA for which application is made and not for each
listed activity triggered.
A distinction is made between applications which require a basic
assessment and those which require Scoping and an Environmental
Impact Assessment ("EIA") Report. Where a basic
assessment is required, a flat rate of R2 000 is proposed for the
consideration and processing of the application, but in the case of
an application for which scoping and EIA Report is required, a flat
rate of R10 000 is proposed.
Where an application is submitted for different listed
activities, but for the same project, in terms of both NEMA and
NEMWA, GN 784 proposes the payment of fees on a sliding scale as
For the main application, a fee of R10 000 (being 100% of the
flat rate) will be payable for the most expensive application if
the Scoping and EIA Report is triggered, but if the basic
assessment is triggered a fee of R2 000 (being 100% of the flat
rate) will be payable.
In the case of the second application, 50% of the most
expensive application will be payable, thus R5 000 will be payable
if the Scoping and EIA Report is triggered, or R1 000 if the basic
assessment is triggered.
In the case of the third application, 25% of the most expensive
application is proposed, thus R2 500 will be payable if the Scoping
and EIA Report is triggered or R250 if the basic assessment is
No fee will be payable for the fourth and subsequent
applications, as GN 784 prescribes a rate of 0%.
GNR 784 makes provision for an applicant for an EA to apply for
exemption from the prescribed application fee in terms of section
24M of NEMA or Chapter 5 of the EIA Regulations of 2010. An
applicant for a WML may apply for an exemption in terms of section
74 of NEMWA.
It is intended that the proposed fee structure be implemented on
1 April 2012 and the public have opportunity to submit comments and
inputs on the draft fee structure to the Department of
Environmental Affairs within a period of 60 days from the date of
publication of the Notice. GNR 784 provides that any comments
received after the closing date may not be considered.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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Two important principles of South African law collided head
on, with unsatisfactory consequences, when Chief Bareki (a
traditional leader acting on behalf of his tribe) and an
environmental concern group sued Gencor and certain
subsidiaries for the environmental clean up following
discontinued asbestos mining activities.
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