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The Efficacy of the SA EIA Regime Time for Change – Back to the future? Presentation by: Gideon (Kallie) Erasmus of Erasmus Attorneys.

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Presentation on theme: "The Efficacy of the SA EIA Regime Time for Change – Back to the future? Presentation by: Gideon (Kallie) Erasmus of Erasmus Attorneys."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Efficacy of the SA EIA Regime Time for Change – Back to the future? Presentation by: Gideon (Kallie) Erasmus of Erasmus Attorneys

2 Precondition for development  Every generation puts its own scratches on the surface of this planet - this is called progress or development.  Otherwise we would have no electricity, no mining or manufacturing and would all still be doing our business behind the nearest bush.

3 It’s all about … balance!  To think that we can (or should) bubble- wrap the environment is a nonsense.  Sound environmental governance re- quires an appropriate balance between people and the environment.

4 So we have independent assessments, do we?  How many EIA Reports recommend that auth- orisation be denied?  How many applications are withdrawn because applicants become persuaded that the proposed activity is environmentally un- justifiable? None!

5 So we have independent assessments, do we? (2). WHY?  EAPs are paid to secure authorisations, not to undertake objective assessments.  It is absurd to anchor the veracity of an EIA in the “independence” of a paid service provider.

6 Different listings are a waste of time.  Since when is the listing of an activity more important than the impacts it is likely to have?  In this context there are only two types of activities:  Those that will have significant impacts; and  Those that won’t.

7 Different listings are a waste of time (2).  It is scientifically impossible to anticipate the likely impacts of a type of activity.  Every proposed activity must be assessed on its contextually specific merits.  To think that some types warrant lesser assess- ment by definition is to betray the environ- ment and those who stand to be affected.

8 A Better Way  A single, suitably flexible regime is better than the present artificially differentiated system.  Every EIA must be appropriate to the im- pacts of a proposed activity and not its listing.

9 A Better Way (2)  Such a system would comprise (in every instance):  Application & Scoping report:  Notification for registration and comment on Scoping proposal;  Revised Scoping if necessary;  EIA phase;  Decision; and  Appeal.

10 Isn’t this how it worked under the 1998 Regulations?  No. This is how it was supposed to work under the 1998 Regulations until some “clever” so-and-so perverted the concept of scoping.  Scoping in this context is a research pro- posal and, as such, devoid of substantive content.

11 Avoiding the 1998 pitfalls.  Conflate the application and scoping phases.  Prohibit authorisation without an EIA Report.  Make the applicant responsible for justifying the extent of the assessment to be under- taken.

12 Thank you so very much for this opportunity. Gideon (Kallie) Erasmus Erasmus Environmental, Development and Property Law Attorneys Tel: Fax:


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