The government’s withdrawal of an amendment to environmental regulations requiring consent from landowners for environmental authorisations for mining activities is a “slap in the face” for mining-affected communities in South Africa.
On 3 March, Forestry, Fisheries and Environment Minister Barbara Creecy withdrew a 2021 amendment to regulation 39 (2) of the environmental impact assessment (EIA) regulations, which required the consent of landowners where environmental authorisation is sought over land which is not owned by the developer.
According to the Centre for Environmental Rights (CER), before the June 2021 amendment to the EIA regulations, developers were only required to consult landowners. The amendment changed the position to require consent from landowners. It is this amendment that has been withdrawn.