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Full Disclosure 2016

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

Department of Environmental Affairs’ compliance monitoring and enforcement action

Polokwane Smelters, Limpopo
NECER Significant Inspection Findings Further Developments and Status of Enforcement Process
20151 An inspection which focussed specifically on the facility’s WML for its H:H slag stockpile disposal site was conducted on 18 January 2011. The findings were as follows:
  • Non-compliances with the conditions stipulated in facility’s waste permit issued in terms of section 20 ECA (Permit No: 12/9/11/118) for the facility’s H:H slag stockpile disposal site;
  • various non-compliances in relation to the facility’s failure to comply with its general duty of care in respect of waste management and storage;
  • activities being undertaken on site which may cause serious and significant harm to the environment and the facility’s failure to take reasonable measures to prevent such harm;
  • failure to report emergency incidents;
  • failure to comply with provisions of the NWA and the undertaking of water uses without a water use licence required in terms of section 21 of the NWA.
It is reported that:

Based on these findings, and on 5 November 2012, DEA issued the facility with a notice of intention to issue a compliance notice in terms of section 31L of NEMA notice [sic], pre-directives in terms of section 31A ECA and section 28(4) of NEMA directives. Representations were received on 30 November 2012. Due to the nature and extent of the facility as well as the non-compliances identified during the 2011 inspection, DEA formed the view that a holistic compliance inspection, which would entail the inspection of the facility in its entirety, should be conducted at the facility. A further inspection took place on 5 August 2014.

The 2014 inspection focussed on the facility in its entirety and also served as a follow-up inspection in order to determine whether the non-compliances observed during the 2011 inspection had adequately been addressed. The findings thereof cannot yet be made available as the inspection report has not been issued to the facility. The DEA is in the process of considering the appropriate enforcement action.

20162 The 2016 report states that:

The follow-up Compliance Inspection Report has been finalised and a decision is being considered in relation to appropriate enforcement action.

  1. National Environmental Compliance and Enforcement Report 2014/2015, at p48.
  2. National Environmental Compliance and Enforcement Report 2015/2016, at p57.