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Full Disclosure 2016


Sector overview

The agro-processing sector processes raw products derived from the agriculture sector. According to the Standard Industrial Classification, this includes products such as food, beverages, paper and paper products, wood and wood products, textiles, clothing, furniture, tobacco, rubber products, footwear and leather.1 In South Africa, the sector is reportedly worth R49-billion annually and provides employment to over 200,000 people.2 However, this sector of industry also contributes to environmental degradation in various ways. The UN Environment Programme has outlined a number of the negative consequences of agro-processing, including the fact that food production has caused wide-scale changes in ecosystems, is responsible for 70 per cent of water withdrawals, and is a significant driver of deforestation and loss of biodiversity.3

Primary Legislation

National Environmental Management Act
National Environmental Management: Air Quality Act
National Environmental Management: Waste Act
National Water Act
Environment Conservation Act

Pursuant to these pieces of legislation, companies are required to have licences in order to conduct various regulated activities. Minimum emission standards were published in Government Notice No. 248 in 2010.4 Licences granted to companies under the National Environmental Management: Air Quality Act must at least incorporate these standards and deadlines were introduced for meeting those standards.