Non-compliance with environmental laws as reported in the National Environmental Compliance and Enforcement Reports
Northam 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 the findings of their inspections or on the enforcement action taken by their departments.
While the DWS has, for the first time in 2016, collaborated with the DEA by providing some key statistics about its compliance monitoring and enforcement activities for inclusion in the 2015/2016 NECER, these statistics are high-level, overall statistics. The DWS has not given any details of facilities inspected or of inspection findings.
Most of the mining companies assessed in Full Disclosure do 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.