Assessing EIA report quality prior and post 2014 in South Africa - a transport experience
An Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is a process that seeks to minimise adverse impacts on the environment. Key elements of an EIA are presented in a document referred to as an Environmental Impact Assessment report. EIA report quality in South Africa has been of a satisfactory level. EIA in South Africa started under the Environment Conservation Act in 1997, and later EIA regulations were promulgated in terms of the National Environmental Management Act 107 of 1998 (NEMA) in 2006, 2010, 2014 and 2017. Limited research has been conducted regarding the quality of EIA reports produced in South Africa under the 2010 and 2014 regulations. In addition, limited research has been conducted for linear projects in the transport sector. There is therefore a need to review the quality of EIA reports produced under the more recent EIA regimes. The Lee and Colley review model was used to conduct the comparative analysis of the EIA report quality prior and post 2014 in South Africa. A sample 12 EIA reports from the transport sector were selected for analysis; four (4) under each of the 2006; 2010 and 2014 EIA regimes. It was envisioned that EIA report quality would improve over time, based on experience. The findings and analysis of the results contained in this dissertation revealed that EIA report quality in South Africa has been satisfactory and has improved over time. These findings are similar to the results for other South African studies on EIA quality including international studies.