New Covid-19 directions call for the resumption of activities and processes in respect of environmental permits and licences

​On 9 September 2020, the Minister of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries published new directions regarding environmental permits and licences under the COVID-19 disaster management framework.

We previously reported on the Covid-19 framework applying to environmental matters. The first set of environment-related directions were published on 31 March 2020 (and have since been repealed), and have been followed by the Alert Level 3 directions which were published on 5 June 2020 (and which remain in force).  The new directions are to be read with the repealed directions and the Alert Level 3 directions.

The new directions provide that where licensing or regulatory timeframes were suspended, extended or deemed to be extended under the previous directions (i.e. in respect of EA validity periods, environmental audit reporting periods, appeal periods, NEMWA/NEMAQA licences / exemptions, receipt of applications for waste management licence transfer or amendment of contaminated land remediation orders), and

  • these processes, services or actions were not resumed in terms of the Alert Level 3 directions, but are resumed under Alert Level 2 or lower Alert Level, then the appropriate actions and steps must be taken in terms of the applicable legislation, in order to avoid the lapsing or expiry of such decisions or processes:

    • within 30 days of the publication of these new Directions (i.e. by 9 October 2020); or
    • if the outstanding actions or steps cannot be concluded within the above 30-day period, then they must be concluded within such period that is deemed appropriate and reasonable, following agreement with and confirmation by the relevant authority in writing by 9 October 2020. In addition, such agreed period must be communicated by the applicant, holder of the decision, appellant or any other responsible party, without undue delay, to all parties affected by such process or decision; OR
  • these processes, services or actions were resumed in terms of the Alert Level 3 directions, then they must continue subject to adherence to any applicable extended timeframes as contemplated in the Alert Level 3 directions (i.e. an additional​ 60 days for waste tyre export authorisations or 21 days from resumption of previously suspended activities/processes in terms of paragraphs 4.2 or 4.3 of the Alert Level 3 directions) or any agreements reached regarding a specific decision or process between the relevant parties as contemplated in the Alert Level 3 directions.

These Directions will apply for the period of the national state of disaster.


These materials are provided for general information purposes only and do not constitute legal or other professional advice. While every effort is made to update the information regularly and to offer the most current, correct and accurate information, we accept no liability or responsibility whatsoever if any information is, for whatever reason, incorrect, inaccurate or dated. We accept no responsibility for any loss or damage, whether direct, indirect or consequential, which may arise from access to or reliance on the information contained herein.

© Copyright Webber Wentzel. All Rights reserved.

Webber Wentzel > News > New Covid-19 directions call for the resumption of activities and processes in respect of environmental permits and licences
Johannesburg +27 (0) 11 530 5000
Cape Town +27 (0) 21 431 7000
Validating email against database, please wait...
Validating email: please wait...
Email verified: Please click the confirmation link sent to your mailbox, also check junk/spam folder. If you no longer have access to this email address or haven't received the verification email then email
Email verified: You are being redirected to manage your subscription
Email could not be verified: Please wait while you are redirected to the Subscription Form
Unanticipated error: Saving your CRM information Subscription Form