National Environmental Management


(English text signed by the President)

[Assented To: 19 November 1998]
[Commencement Date: 29 January 1999]

as amended by:

National Environmental Management Act 56 of 2002
Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act 28 of 2002
National Environmental Management Amendment Act 46 of 2003
[with effect from 1 May 2005]
National Environmental Management Amendment Act 8 of 2004
[with effect from 7 January 2005]


To provide for co-operative environmental governance by establishing principles for decision-making on matters affecting the environment, institutions that will promote cooperative governance and procedures for co-ordinating environmental functions exercised by organs of state; to provide for certain aspects of the administration and enforcement of other environmental management laws; and to provide for matters connected therewith.
[Long title amended by s. 3 of Act 56/2002 and substituted by s. 13 of Act 46/2003]

Preamble -

WHEREAS many inhabitants of South Africa live in an environment that is harmful to their health and wellbeing;

everyone has the right to an environment that is not harmful to his or her health or wellbeing;

the State must respect, protect, promote and fulfill the social, economic and environmental rights of everyone and strive to meet the basic needs of previously disadvantaged communities;

inequality in the distribution of wealth and resources, and the resultant poverty, are among the important causes as well as the results of environmentally harmful practices;

sustainable development requires the integration of social, economic and environmental factors in the planning, implementation and evaluation of decisions to ensure that development serves present and future generations;

everyone has the right to have the environment protected, for the benefit of present and future generations, through reasonable legislative and other measures that -...