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Full Disclosure 2016

Licences and authorisations required for operation

Licence Activity Applicable Legislation
Atmospheric Emission Licence Solid biomass fuel1 combustion installations used primarily for steam raising or electricity generation. List of activities which result in atmospheric emissions which have or may have a significant detrimental effect on the environment2 and accordingly require an Atmospheric Emission Licence before commencement (GN 893): Category 1, Sub-category 1.3 (or Sub-category 1.6 if the combustion installations co-feed waste3 with conventional fuels).
Atmospheric Emission Licence Gas combustion (including gas turbines burning natural gas) used primarily for steam raising or electricity generation.4 GN 893: Category 1, Sub-category 1.4.
Water Use Licence Taking water from a water resource.5 National Water Act: Section 21(a).
Water Use Licence Storing water.6 National Water Act: Section 21(b).
Water Use Licence Impeding or diverting the flow of water in a watercourse.7 National Water Act: Section 21(c).
Water Use Licence Engaging in a controlled activity identified as such in section 37(1)8 or declared under section 38(1). National Water Act: Section 21(e).
Water Use Licence Discharging waste or water containing waste into a water resource through a pipe, canal, sewer, sea outfall or other conduit.9 National Water Act: Section 21(f).
Water Use Licence Disposing waste in a manner which may detrimentally impact on a water resource.10 National Water Act: Section 21(g).
Water Use Licence Disposing in any manner of water which contains waste from, or which has been heated in, any industrial or power generation process.11 National Water Act: Section 21(h).
Water Use Licence Altering the bed, banks, course or characteristics of a watercourse.12 National Water Act: Section 21(i).
Registration as dam with a safety risk The owner of a dam with a safety risk13 must register that dam within 120 days. National Water Act: Section 120 (read with the Dam Regulations).
Waste Management Licence The recovery14 of waste including the refining, utilisation, or co-processing of waste in excess of 10 tons but less than 100 tons of general waste per day or in excess of 500 kilogram but less than 1 ton of hazardous waste per day, excluding recovery that takes place as an integral manufacturing process within the same premises. List of waste management activities that have, or are likely to have, a detrimental effect on the environment15 and accordingly require a waste management licence (GN 921): Category A 3(5) (or Category B 4(3), where the recovery of waste is in excess of 100 tons of general waste or in excess of 1 ton of hazardous waste per day).
Waste Management Licence The recycling16 of general waste at a facility that has an operational area in excess of 500m2, excluding recycling that takes place as an integral part of an internal manufacturing process within the same premises. GN 921: Category A 3(3).
Waste Management Licence The construction of a facility for a waste management activity listed in Category A. GN 921: Category A 3(12) (or Category B 4(10) where the waste management activity is listed in Category B).
No licence, only compliance with Norms and Standards for Storage of Waste, 2013 The storage of general waste at a facility that has the capacity to store in excess of 100 cubic metres of general waste at any one time, excluding the storage of waste in lagoons or temporary17 storage of such waste. GN 921: Category C 5(1) (or Category C 5(2) where the capacity to store is in excess of 80 cubic meters of hazardous waste).
Environmental Authorisation Development and related operation of facilities or infrastructure for the generation of electricity18 from a renewable resource where the electricity output is more than 10 megawatts but less than 20 megawatts or the output is 10 megawatts or less but the total extent of the facility covers an area in excess of 1 hectares. Environmental Impact Assessment Regulations, Listing Notice 119 (Listing Notice 1): Activity 1 (or Listing Notice 2: Activity 1 where the electricity output is 20 megawatts or more).
Environmental Authorisation Development and related operation of facilities or infrastructure for the generation of electricity from non-renewable resources20 where the electricity output is more than 10 megawatts but less than 20 megawatts or the output is 10 megawatts or less but the total extent of the facility covers an area in excess of 1 hectares. Listing Notice 1: Activity 2 (or Listing Notice 2: Activity 2 where the electricity output is 20 megawatts or more).
Environmental Authorisation The development and related operation of hatcheries or agri-industrial21 facilities outside industrial complexes where the development footprint covers an area of 2 000 square metres or more. Listing Notice 1: Activity 8.
Environmental Authorisation The development of facilities or infrastructure for the off-stream storage22 of water, including dams and reservoirs, with a combined capacity of 50 000 cubic metres or more, unless such storage falls within the ambit of activity 16 of Listing Notice 2. Listing Notice 1: Activity 13.
Environmental Authorisation The development of facilities or infrastructure for the storage, or for the storage and handling, of a dangerous good, where such storage occurs in containers with a combined capacity of 80 but not exceeding 500 cubic metres.23 Listing Notice 1: Activity 14 (or Listing Notice 2: Activity 4, where the capacity exceeds 500 cubic metres).
Environmental Authorisation The development and related operation of facilities for the treatment of effluent, wastewater or sewage with a daily throughput capacity of more than 2 000 cubic metres but less than 15 000 cubic metres. Listing Notice 1: Activity 25 (or Listing Notice 2: Activity 25, where the capacity exceeds 15 000 cubic metres).
Environmental Authorisation The development of facilities or infrastructure for any process or activity which requires a permit or licence in terms of national or provincial legislation governing the generation or release of emissions, pollution or effluent, excluding activities which are identified in Listing Notice 1, activities which are included in the list of waste management activities published in terms of section 19 of the National Environmental Management: Waste Act (in which case that Act will apply), or facilities with a daily throughput capacity of less than 2000 cubic metres. Environmental Impact Assessment Regulations, Listing Notice 224 (Listing Notice 2): Activity 6.
Environmental Authorisation The physical alteration of virgin soil to agriculture,25 or afforestation for the purposes of commercial tree, timber or wood production of 100 hectares or more. Listing Notice 2: Activity 13.
Environmental Authorisation The clearance of an area of 300 square metres or more of indigenous vegetation except where such clearance of indigenous vegetation is required for maintenance purposes undertaken in accordance with a maintenance management plan.26 Environmental Impact Assessment Regulations Listing Notice 327 (Listing Notice 3): Activities 12.
Approval in terms of the Conservation of Agricultural Resources Act Prior to the cultivation or mechanical disturbance of any virgin soil, approval must be obtained from the relevant authority. Conservation of Agricultural Resources Act – Regulations:28 Regulation 2.
Registration in terms of the Fertilizers, Farm Feeds, Agricultural Remedies and Stock Remedies Act A pest control operator must be properly registered to administer pesticides.29 Fertilizers, Farm Feeds, Agricultural Remedies and Stock Remedies Act: Section 3.
Licence in terms of the National Environmental Management: Integrated Coastal Management Act The discharge of effluent into coastal waters requires a licence. National Environmental Management: Integrated Coastal Management Act: Section 69.
Heritage Approval For large-scale developments of the following categories, the heritage resources authority in the applicable area must be notified (and having been notified will assess whether heritage approval is required):30
  1. the construction of a road, wall, powerline, pipeline, canal or other similar form of linear development or barrier exceeding 300 metres in length;
  2. the construction of a bridge or similar structure exceeding 50 metres in length;
  3. any development or other activity which will change the character of a site –
    1. exceeding 5 000 square metres in extent; or
    2. involving three or more existing erven or subdivisions thereof; or
    3. involving three or more erven or divisions thereof which have been consolidated within the past five years; or
    4. the costs of which will exceed a sum set in terms of regulations by SAHRA or a provincial heritage resources authority;
  4. the re-zoning of a site exceeding 10 000 square metres in extent; or
  5. any other category of development provided for in regulations by South African Heritage Resources Authority or a provincial heritage resources authority.
National Heritage Resources Act: Section 38.

 

  1. Ethanol from sugar canes may be used as an alternative fuel for generating electricity.
  2. Published under Government Notice 893 in Government Gazette 37054 of 22 November 2013.
  3. This is applicable if conventional fuel is co-fed with waste to generate electricity.
  4. Some companies, like Tongaat Hulett, use gas-fired char stations.
  5. If water is not supplied by the municipality and is not authorised in terms of a general authorisation, a Water Use Licence may be required.
  6. A Water Use Licence may be required unless water storage is authorised in terms of a general authorisation.
  7. If any of the company’s activities impede or divert the flow of water in a watercourse, a Water Use Licence may be required.
  8. Irrigation of any land with waste or water containing waste generated through industrial activity or by a waterwork, is considered a controlled activity. Some companies may choose to irrigate crops with waste water generated from their agri-processing activities, in which case a Water Use Licence may be required.
  9. This may be applicable if wastewater or effluent is discharged into rivers or other water resources.
  10. Applicable if waste is disposed of on land and may result in contamination of water resources.
  11. Because some companies generate their own electricity, water may be heated and must be disposed of properly.
  12. If the characteristics of a river are altered by milling or agricultural activities undertaken by the company, a Water Use Licence may be required.
  13. A “dam with a safety risk” is defined in the National Water Act as “a dam which can contain, store or dam more than 50 000 cubic metres of water, whether that water contains any substance or not, and which has a wall of a vertical height of more than 5 metres, measured as the vertical difference between the lowest downstream ground elevation on the outside of the dam wall and the non-overspill crest level or the general top level of the dam wall”, or is declared a dam with a safety risk under the National Water Act.
  14. “Recovery” is defined in the National Environmental Management: Waste Act as the “controlled extraction or retrieval of any substance, material or object from waste”. Some companies use sugar cane to generate electricity.
  15. Published under Government Notice 921 in Government Gazette 37083 of 29 November 2013.
  16. “Recycle” is defined in the National Environmental Management: Waste Act as “a process where waste is reclaimed for further use, which process involves the separation of waste from a waste stream for further use and the processing of that separated material as a product or raw material”. Some companies, such as Tongaat Hulett, use molasses and bagasse (a by-product) to produce animal feeds.
  17. “Temporary storage” is defined in GN921 as “once off storage that does not exceed 90 days”.
  18. If the company generates its own electricity from a renewable energy source (for example, by using sugar cane an alternative fuel), it must obtain Environmental Authorisation.
  19. GN 983, published in Government Gazette 38282 of 4 December 2014.
  20. If the company generates its own electricity from non-renewable resources it may need to obtain Environmental Authorisation.
  21. This is defined in Listing Notice 1 as “an undertaking involving beneficiation of agricultural produce”. The beneficiation of sugar cane to produce refined sugar would be regarded as an agri-industrial activity.
  22. If water is drawn from water resources and stored on site, Environmental Authorisation is required for the construction of such a water storage facility or infrastructure.
  23. Chemicals (required for the preparation of soil), fertilisers, pesticides and other dangerous substances may be used by companies. The construction of facilities for the storage of such substances may trigger the need for Environmental Authorisation.
  24. Government Notice R 984 published in Government Gazette 38282 of 4 December 2014.
  25. Applicable if plantation established on virgin soil.
  26. Applicable if indigenous vegetation is removed for the development of the agri-industrial facility.
  27. Published under Government Notice R 985 in Government Gazette 38282 of 4 December 2014.
  28. Published under Government Notice R1048 in Government Gazette 10029 of 25 May 1984.
  29. Applicable if pesticides are administered on the company’s crops.
  30. Heritage approval is not required if heritage impacts are assessed as part of an environmental impact assessment process for Environmental Authorisation, provided that comments received from the heritage authority are incorporated into the final report (as per section 38(10) of the National Heritage Resources Act).