The promotion and protection of public health in South Africa through environmental legislation with specific reference to air pollution.
The Constitution of South Africa I, (the Constitution) envisages in the Bill of Rights that: Everyone has the right -(a) to an environment that is not harmful to their health or well-being; and (b) 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; II. promote conservation; and III. secure ecologically sustainable development and use of natural resources while promolingjuslifiable economic and social development.3 There are other statutes that support the Constitution. for example, the National Environmental Management Act (NEMA).4 This Act states in its preamble that : " Whereas many inhabitants of South Africa live in an environment that is not harmful to their health and well being everyone has the right to an environment that is not harmful to his or her health or well being; and everyone has the right to have the environment protected, for the benefit of present and futu re generations, through reasonable legislative and other measures that prevent pollution and ecological degradation ... Both the Constitution and NEMA are not only concerned with the environment but also with the health and well·being of South Africans. The World Health Organization (WHO) has defined health, as ' more than the absence of disease and infirmity, it is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being.' Environmental health in broad term is concerned with factors in the environment associated with health, well-being and disease, including physical, chemical and biological conditions.