Overhaul of air quality management framework on the horizon

On 30 August 2019, the Minister of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries (the Minister) published notice of her intention to repeal three sets of regulations previously gazetted under the Atmospheric Pollution Prevention Act, 1965 (APPA). The APPA was repealed by the National Environmental Management: Air Quality Act 39 of 2004 (the Air Quality Act), with effect from 1 April 2010. The draft repeal notices were published under GNR113, 114, and 115 of 30 August 2019, respectively.

The APPA regulations which the Minister intends to repeal are as follows:

  • Regulations regarding Fuel Burning Appliances in Dwelling Houses, made in terms of section 44(1)(dA) of the APPA (in their entirety) (GNR 1083 of 30 May 1984);​
  • Smoke Control Regulations made in terms of section 18 of the APPA in numerous Municipalities throughout the country (published under various notices in their entirety); and
  • Regulations relating to the Inspection of Premises in a Dust Control Area (published in GNR1922 of 30 August 1985) (in their entirety).​

The Minister also intends to repeal numerous Dust Control Area Declarations and Smoke Control Zone Orders made under the APPA which are applicable to various specified municipalities.

Despite the repeal of the APPA, certain regulations, declarations and orders made under this Act remain enforceable in terms of section 60 of the Air Quality Act which provides that anything done or deemed to have been done under the APPA and which can be done in terms of a provision of the Air Quality Act, must be regarded as having been done under that provision of the Air Quality Act. In addition anything done or deemed to have been done under the APPA and which can be done in terms of the constitutional or statutory powers of a municipality, remains in force in the jurisdiction of that local authority, until repealed by the relevant municipality.

The Minister's intention to repeal these APPA regulations, indicates that a significant clean-up of the air quality management framework is on the horizon and it is anticipated that new draft regulations will be published shortly to replace the APPA regulations. It is also likely that these 'replacement' regulations will come into force at the same time that the repeal of the APPA regulations is finalised.​

Members of the public are invited to submit comments on the proposed repeal of the APPA regulations by 29 September 2019.