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One of the objectives of the Provincial State of the Environment Report (SOER), which is currently being prepared, is to provide a reference framework of sustainable development indicators against which environmental management performance of government functions and activities can be assessed.  Since this work has not yet been completed it was necessary to establish a reference framework for the purposes of this 1st Edition EIP.  In this regard, the approach developed in the Mpumalanga EIP using NEMA principles and the relevant existing policy and legislation as the means with which to evaluate government functions in the province, was adopted.  

It must be noted however, that this reference framework is limited in that it only provides a measure of the functions of government in the Province rather than the effects of these functions on the environment.  For this reason, some of the recommendations developed in this 1st Edition EIP relate to a set of tools needed to allow for continuous measurement and to gauge where improvements have been made or where they are required.  Therefore, it is anticipated that the 2nd edition EIP will be based on the outputs of these, more comprehensive, environmental management tools.

The NEMA principles (Annexe 8.1) have been arranged under separate themes (as developed for use in the Mpumalanga EIP).  This makes it more meaningful for evaluating government functions in the province.

The following themes have been used:

Sustainable Development

Environmental Justice and Equity

Participation, Empowerment and Transparency

Co-operative Governance

Ecological Integrity

Integration of Environmental Considerations into Decision Making

Government functions have also been assessed for compliance to relevant environmental laws and policies.  Laws and policies have been categorised into Primary Environmental Legislative Provisions and Secondary Environmental Legislative Provisions themes (again using the approach developed for use in the Mpumalanga EIP) .  

A definition of the following policies and laws is provided in Annexe 8.2:

Primary Environmental Legislative Provisions

National Environmental Management Act (Act 107 of 1998)

Environment Conservation Act (Act 73 of 1989)

White Paper on Environmental Management Policy (April 1999)

North West Parks and Tourism Act (Act  of 19  )

Transvaal Nature Conservation Ordinance (No 12 of 1983)

Cape Nature and Environmental Conservation Ordinance (No 19 of 1974)

Bophuthatswana Nature Conservation Act (No 3 of 1973)

White Paper on Integrated Pollution and Waste Management for South Africa (May 2000)

White Paper on the Conservation and Sustainable Use of South Africa’s Biological Diversity (July 1997)

Atmospheric Pollution Prevention Act (Act 45 of 1965)

Secondary Environmental Legislative Provisions

The Constitution of the Republic of South Africa (108 of 1996)

Minerals Act (Act 50 of 1991)

Conservation of Agricultural Resources Act (Act 43 of 1983)

Development Facilitation Act (67 of 1995)

National Forests Act (84 of 1998)

National Water Act (36 of 1998)

White Paper on Energy Policy for RSA (1998)

Municipal Systems Act (32 of 2000)

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