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Examining the scope and application of section 24G of the National Environmental Management Act 107 of 1998 (NEMA)

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The purpose of section 24G of NEMA is to identify, assess and manage the damage already incurred, together with future impacts arising from an unlawful commenced activity. It is not punitive and does not derogate from criminal prosecution at any stage, due to the unlawful commencement of the listed activity. The section 24G of NEMA decision would either be a refusal to authorise or an authorisation to conduct or continue with the rehabilitation and management of future impacts and environmental damage already incurred. All activities irrespective of whether the activity has an operational aspect or not, would fall within the scope of section 24G of NEMA. Although section 24G of NEMA, in its current form, is not of perfect lucidity, it is capable of being applied with reasonable certainty. The option of the use of environmental offsets as a remedial measure for addressing the damage already incurred, and by excluding decommissioning activities that have already been completed from its application, section 24G of NEMA can be applied affectively to serve its legitimate purpose.


Masters Degree. University of KwZulu-Natal, Pietermaritzburg.