South Africa's considerable and diverse natural resources provide a wide array of investment possibilities, from alternative energy to fishing and eco-tourism.
South Africa is concerned about protecting its rich natural resources and promoting their sustainable use. To this end, the country is a signatory to various international conventions and treaties. In addition, the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996, includes the right to a healthy environment and promotes sustainable development. Activities that have an impact on the environment are, as a result, regulated.
In addition, recent legislative amendments implementing the “one Environmental System” are aimed at ensuring a streamlined approach to the application and granting of environmental authorisations. The Department of Environmental Affairs is currently the lead agent for environmental management and is increasing its efforts to ensure compliance, while undertaking enforcement measures.
As many business activities have some degree of environmental impact, whether positive or negative, it is imperative to be aware of one's environmental obligations when conducting business in South Africa.
“This legislation attempts to strike a balance between encouraging investment and growth, and the need to protect the environment for present and future generations.”
For a comprehensive document outlining the implications of this area of law in South Africa