Critical review of the quality of environmental authorizations in South Africa
Caddick, Andrew Brian
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This dissertation critically reviews the quality of South African environmental authorisations through the application of a methodology adopted from the Lee and Colley (1999) environmental impact assessment (EIA) report review package. The literature review shows that to date limited research has been conducted on the quality of environmental authorisations nationally. Anecdotal evidence suggests that environmental authorisations are of weak quality; hence the development of guidelines on the compilation of environmental authorisations by the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA). In this dissertation, the quality of the environmental authorisations is critically reviewed against the requirements of the National Environmental Management Act (Act No. 107 of 1998) and departmental guidelines. The research concludes that only 64% of reviewed authorisations are deemed satisfactory, while 36% were unsatisfactory. When the basic assessment report (BAR) and scoping and environmental impact assessment (S&EIA) process authorisations are compared it is concluded that the there is a minimal difference in quality. The BAR achieved a 69% satisfactory rating while the S&EIA process achieved a 61% satisfactory rating. The dissertation concludes by making recommendations to improve the quality of authorisations.
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