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Environmental Law

  • Environmental Law

      • This is a collective term to describe the network of treaties, statutes, regulations and common and customary laws which address the effects
        of human activity on the natural environment.

        There have been numerous legislative amendments to South Africa’s environmental laws aimed at ensuring a better alignment of
        environmental laws.

        Section 24 of the Constitution provides that every person has a right to an environment that is not harmful to their health or well-being and also
        provides for the protection of the environment against pollution and degradation.

        The National Environmental Management Act 107 of 1998 (NEMA) is the framework environmental law that aims to give effect to the
        environmental right enshrined in Section 24 of the Constitution.

        Under NEMA certain activities that are considered likely to have detrimental impacts on the environment (e.g. construction of facilities)
        require environmental authorisation prior to commencing. Failure to obtain environmental authorisation may result in, among other things,
        criminal liability. The punishment for this may be imprisonment for a period not exceeding 10 years or a fine not exceeding R10 million (or both).

        NEMA imposes a duty of care on any person who causes, has caused or may cause significant environmental pollution or degradation, to take
        reasonable measures to prevent, minimise and rectify the pollution or degradation.

        Directors, employers, managers and employees of companies who
        caused the damage can also be held personally liable for that pollution or degradation.
        Hi, I’m Kailash Pillay, an attorney from the city of Johannesburg. My passion for the law
        stems from a desire to improve upon the lives of the vulnerable who fall prey to a
        corrupt system.
        I studied at the University of Johannesburg where I obtained my Bachelor of Laws
        degree, the starting point to the long journey of becoming a legal practitioner.
        This profession has taught me to persevere through the complexities of the law and to
        continually develop my skills as a legal professional.