24 November 2010 at 10:04 pm
The Environmental Management Inspectorate has published its National Environmental Compliance and Enforcement Report for 2009-10, relating to the compliance monitoring and enforcement results achieved by Environmental Management Inspectors across national and provincial government during this financial year (April 2009 to March 2010). Some of the key results in this report are listed below.
- There are now 1,073 designated Environmental Management Inspectors across the country, of which 782 are employed in SANParks. Of the remaining 291 EMIs, 38 are employed by provincial parks authorities, leaving 253 EMIs to undertake functions in marine, coastal, pollution, waste and land-use matters. Male EMIs outnumber female EMIs by 3 to 1.
- There has been a 22,9% increase in reported environmental incidents (5,739 in 2009/10).
- There has been an increase in the number of criminal dockets and admission of guilt fines registered (2,877 in 2009/10).
- 282 cases were handed over to the NPA for prosecution, of which 35,8% was returned without prosecution (nolle prosequi) (no change from 2008/9).
- There has been a decline in arrests by EMIs (2,384 in 2009/10).
- There has been a significant increase in the number of acquittals (1,026 in 2009/10).
- There has been a 160% increase in convictions (673 in 2009/10).
- There has been a significant increase in plea bargains (134 in 2009/10).
- There has been a 62% increase in admission of guilt fines issued (more than R2,5m in 2009/10).
- There has been a dramatic increase in number of notices issued and interdict applications instituted (1,260 in 2009/10).
- There has been a dramatic decline in the amount of s24G fines issued (R15,5m in 2008/9 and R8,8m in 2009/10).
- 2,380 facilities and 65,567 vessels and marine-related activities were inspected in 2009/10.
- The highest sentence period of direct imprisonment with the option of a fine was R250,000 or 5 years, with R220,000 or 2 years suspended for 5 years – achieved by EMIs in Cape Nature for possession of rhino horns and parts.
- The highest number of s.24G applications – 83 – was processed by the Gauteng Department of Agriculture and Rural Development. In 18 of these applications, fines were paid in the total amount of R5,898 million.