The following acts and policies guide environmental management in South Africa.
This programme aims to stimulate the renewable industry in South Africa while encouraging foreign investment in the sector, and developing socioeconomic and environmentally sustainable growth. It addresses energy security and the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and includes a number of prescriptions to ensure local community ownership and socioeconomic development in the vicinity of the renewable energy power plants.
This strategy seeks to systematically improve waste management in South Africa and aims to achieve the objectives of the 2008 Waste Act: “to protect health, wellbeing and the environment through sound waste management and application of the waste management hierarchy”.
This strategy aims to ensure equitable access to, and use of water by, all South Africans, while sustaining the country’s water resource. It responds to priorities set in the National Development Plan and National Water Act, that support sustainable development. It proposes measures such as water conservation and water demand management, further utilisation of groundwater, desalination, water reuse, rainwater harvesting and treated acid mine drainage.
The overall goal of this policy is to ensure integrated coastal management, so as to improve the quality of life of human communities who depend on coastal resources, while maintaining the biological diversity and productivity of coastal ecosystems. Emphasis is on uniting government and the community, science and management, sectoral and public interests in preparing and implementing an integrated plan.
This plan seeks to ensure efficient use of and sustainable access to energy, as well as to promote job creation. It analyses current energy consumption trends within different sectors of the economy (i.e. agriculture, commerce, residential and transport) and uses this to project future energy requirements, based on different scenarios. It then determines the optimal combination of energy sources and technologies to meet identified needs in the most cost-effective manner. The plan will be reviewed periodically to consider changes in the macroeconomic environment, developments in new technologies and changes in national priorities and imperatives.
The vision of this plan is to conserve, manage and sustainably use biodiversity to ensure equitable benefits to all South Africans, now and in the future. It is in place for a 10-year period, from 2015 to 2025, and integrates obligations under the convention on biological diversity with the global and national development frameworks.