Alignment of various environmental authorisation processes for the mining industry
Oosthuizen, Wessel Johannes
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Mining contributes significantly to the economic development of South Africa, contributes to pollution and other negative environmental impacts. Section 24 of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996 (Constitution) places a duty on government to, amongst others adopt legislative measures to protect the environment, prevent pollution and degradation, and secure sustainable development, while promoting justifiable economic and social development. Government responded with the introduction of new acts or the amendment of existing acts most of which require an authorisation process as a “command and control” tool to enforce environmental governance within the mining sector. The abovementioned legislative development will be discussed from a historical perspective up to the current developments. The research aims to attempt to align the authorisation process pertaining to mining. The mining life cycle will be illustrated and the authorisation requirements for each of the mining life cycle processes will be discussed alongside its challenges such as fragmentation, lack of capacity in government sectors, lack of communication and cooperative governance within government. The lack of focus within the authorisation requirements will be deliberated. To avoid the negative consequences of the current authorisation processes such as duplication, unnecessary time delays and the stifling of economic growth, an investigation into how the various fragmented authorisation processes can be aligned into a single streamlined authorisation process which will contribute to the sustainable development within South Africa will be made.
- Humanities