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Non-compliance with environmental laws as reported in the National Environmental Compliance and Enforcement Reports

Harmony Gold does not feature in the National Environmental Compliance and Enforcement Reports. However, as the Department of Environmental Affairs’ Environmental Management Inspectors do not have jurisdiction over the environmental or water impacts of mining, this does not mean that the company has not been subject to compliance monitoring and/or enforcement action. The Department of Mineral Resources and the Department of Water and Sanitation are responsible for compliance monitoring and enforcement of environmental and water laws by mining companies. Unlike the Department of Environmental Affairs, thus far neither department has published any information on its compliance monitoring and enforcement action. Both Departments however, in answers to Parliamentary Questions, insist that many inspections take place, many directives and compliance notices are issued, and many criminal prosecutions are instituted.

With a few minor exceptions, the mining companies assessed in Full Disclosure did not refer to compliance monitoring inspections by the Department of Mineral Resources or Department of Water and Sanitation in their shareholder reporting.

The fact that the Departments charged with regulating the sector do not publicise non-compliance findings or enforcement action means that it is impossible to know whether or not the level of disclosure on environmental and water non-compliances by mining companies in their annual reports is accurate.

For more information please see Enforcing the Law: the challenges undermining environmental compliance monitoring and enforcement in South Africa.