On 2 March 2018 the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) formally adopted the Gauteng Provincial Environmental Management Framework Standard (GPEMF) and the exclusion of associated activities from the requirement to obtain Environmental Authorisation in terms of the National Environmental Management Act (NEMA) if located in Zone 1 and Zone 5 defined by the GPEMF.
The GPEMF is an Environmental Framework for all development in the Gauteng Province. It was put together in 2014 using all the environmental data available for the province at the time including data related to geology and soils, land capability, landscape character, precipitation, climate change, hydrology, geohydrology, biodiversity, air pollution, waste management, economy, population, agriculture and rural development, and current land use.
The purpose of the GPEMF was fourfold:
To provide a strategic and overall framework for environmental management in Gauteng;
To align sustainable development initiatives with the environmental resources, developmental pressures, as well as the growth imperatives of Gauteng;
To determine geographical areas where certain activities can be excluded from an EIA process; and
To identify appropriate, inappropriate and conditionally compatible activities in various Environmental Management Zones in a manner that promotes proactive decision-making.
According to the GPEMF, Gauteng Province is now divided into five development zones:
Zone 1 – Urban development zone
Zone 2 – High control zone (within the urban development zone)
Zone 3 – High control zone (outside the urban development zone)
Zone 4 – Normal control zone
Zone 5 – Industrial and large commercial focus zone
Certain activities will now no longer require an Environmental Authorisation and associated Impact Assessment if located in Zone 1 and Zone 5. These activities will now have to be registered with the Gauteng Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (GDARD) or the DEA and adhere to specific Norms and Standards. The delisted activities includes 19 previously listed activities in Zone 1 and 30 previously listed activities in Zone 5, relating to various development sectors including agriculture, construction, energy production, infrastructure and more.
The map below is copied from the GPEMF and gives an indication of the Zones as identified in the framework. If you think you may be located in Zone 1 or 5 and are planning any development that previously required Environmental Authorisation, please contact us to assist you to determine if this exemption applies to you.