Media Release: Focus on the Garden Route District Municipality Industry Working Group
For immediate release
22 September 2023
The industry working group focusing on air quality management was established early in 2011, short after the new National Environmental Management: Air Quality Act (NEMAQA) came into full effect on 1 April 2010 and the old Atmospheric Pollution Prevention Act (APPA) of 1965 repealed. The focus of the platform is to actively involve the industrial sector in Air Quality Management and to serve as a platform for information sharing and capacity building purposes.
The quarterly engagement include topics such as licence application procedures, the South African Atmospheric Emission Licensing & Inventory Portal (SAAELIP), emission monitoring and reporting, legislation and proposed amendment, etc.
As the time progressed, a self-compliance auditing system was introduced which requires industry to verify compliance with conditions of their Atmospheric Emission Licence. The compliance verification is completed on the municipal collaborator portal which is tailored to each individual AEL.
“Since the transition from APPA to NEMAQA, and the handover of the Atmospheric Emission Licence function from Department of Environmental Affairs and Development Planning (DEADP) to the district, the working group from the district side is viewed not only for compliance purposes, but to improve service delivery, consultation, openness, and transparency and giving best value” said Dr Johann Shoeman, District Manager for Air Quality in the Garden Route.
Another achievement is that since its establishment, not one quarterly meeting was missed. “Even during Covid 19, we managed to hold meetings virtually and currently meetings are held hybrid to accommodate attendees from far,” Schoeman said.
The GRDM Air Quality unit is often complemented by external stakeholders, specifically on the Working Group and all indications are that this platform forms an essential part of managing air quality sufficiently in the Garden Route district.