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PAIA Requests for Environmental Records

Request to the Department of Water and Sanitation in relation to number of inspections, inspection reports, administrative enforcement, Environmental Management Inspectors, Water Use Licences and criminal enforcement (2 May 2019)

14 May 2019

Requestee:
Department of Water and Sanitation
Reference Number:
CER-2019-DWS-001
Status:
Submitted

Records of the following were requested:

A. Number of inspections

  1. In the National Environmental Compliance and Enforcement Report (NECER) 2017-18, the Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) reported 489 inspections. Of these inspections, kindly provide a list of, or records indicating, the number of inspections that:
    1.   were in respect of coal mining operations;
    2.   were in respect of coal mining operations within the Mpumalanga province.
  2. With regard to the 2018-19 financial year please provide a list of, or records indicating the number of inspections:
    1.   conducted in respect of coal mining operations;
    2.   that were in respect of coal mining operations within the Mpumalanga province.

B. Inspection reports

  1. In NECER 2017-18 the DWS reported that 471 inspection reports were finalised, kindly provide a list of, or records indicating:
    1. The number of finalised inspection reports that related to coal mining operations within the Mpumalanga Province;
    2. the number of finalised inspection reports that were issued to coal mining operations within Mpumalanga for representations;
    3. the number of representations received by the DWS from coal mining operations.

C. Administrative Enforcement

  1. In NECER 2017-18, the DWS reported that 138 pre-directives were issued in that financial year. Of these directives, kindly provide a list of, or records indicating the number pre-directives that related to:
    1.  coal mining operations;
    2.  coal mining operations within the Mpumalanga Province.
  2. In NECER 2017-18, the DWS reported that 29 directives were issued in that financial year. Of these directives, kindly provide a list of, or records indicating the number of directives issued:
    1.  in terms of section 28 of the National Environmental Management Act;
    2.  in terms of section 19 of the National Water Act;
    3.  to coal mining companies;
    4.  to coal mining companies in the Mpumalanga Province.
  3. In respect of the 2018-19 financial year, please provide a list of, or records indicating the number of:
    1.  directives issued;
    2.  directives issued to coal mining companies;
    3.  directives issued to coal mining companies within Mpumalanga.

D. Environmental Management Inspectors (EMIs)

  1. In respect of the 2018-19 financial year, please provide a list of, or records indicating:
    1.  the number of officials that underwent EMI training;
    2.  the number of officials that successfully completed the EMI training and are currently awaiting designation;
    3.  the number of officials that were designated as EMIs.
  2. Of the EMIs designated in the 2018-19 financial year, please provide a list of, or records indicating, a breakdown per category as follows:
    1.  the number of EMIs that sit within the national Chief Directorate: Compliance Monitoring;
    2.  the number of EMIs that sit within the national Chief Directorate: Enforcement;
    3.  the number of EMIs dedicated specifically to compliance monitoring in the provincial operations;
    4.  the number of EMIs who perform dual functions (compliance and enforcement) in the provincial operation.
  3. A list of, or records indicating, the number of officials who are expected to undergo EMI training in the 2019-20 financial year.

E. Water Use Licences

  1. A list of, or records indicating:
    1.  the number of coal mines currently operating without a water use licence;
    2.  of these coal mines the number that are situated in Mpumalanga.

F. Criminal Enforcement

  1. In 2015 the Minister of Water and Sanitation advised that 13 cases out of 296 investigated nationally resulted in criminal charges being laid for non-compliance with the NWA (https://pmg.org.za/committee-question/1519/). Kindly provide us with a list of, or records indicating:
    1.  The number of these cases that were handed to the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA);
    2.  the number of these cases that the NPA declined to prosecute;
    3.  the number of these cases that were successfully prosecuted;
    4.  the number of these cases awaiting a decision from the NPA.
  2. In NECER 2017-18, DWS reported that two criminal dockets were registered. Kindly provide us with a list of, or records indicating the number of these cases that:
    1.  are in respect of coal mining operations;
    2.  are in respect of coal mining operations in Mpumalanga.
  3. In NECER 2017-18, DWS reported that two criminal cases were handed to the NPA. Please provide us with a list of, or records indicating:
    1.  The names of the accused in these cases;
    2.  the affected operations;
    3.  the province(s) in which the alleged offences took place

For further information please email ati@cer.org.za.

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Section 24of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996

Everyone has the right to an environment that is not harmful to their health or well-being; and to have the environment protected, for the benefit of present and future generations, through reasonable legislative and other measures that prevent pollution and ecological degradation; promote conservation; and secure ecologically sustainable development and use of natural resources while promoting justifiable economic and social development.

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Contact the National Environmental Crimes & Incidents Hotline (24 hours) or one of the national and provincial hotlines.