Greentech info

South Africa - improving chemicals and waste legislation


Source: Greentech info

Much in South Africa is governed by the country’s immense mining industry, even the proliferation of new waste legislation. The chemicals legislation is also fragmented. But there are signs of light.

South African environmental legislation is, to put it mildly, fragmented. But now the country's legislators seem to have woken up. Increasingly, international treaties on environment are takin into account and recently the minister for Water and Environmental Affairs announced that environmental courts will be set up in order to fight environmental crime.

Waste legislation
Since 2008, reports claim that the share of hazardous waste not ending up in landfills has increased rapidly, which opens up the market for waste management business opportunities. Much of the waste accumulation is driven by the mining sector and related power generating industries.

Among the many problems cited by the country’s Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism is that the country took very long to ratify international treaties, but also a lack of customer product information as regards chemical safety.

Chemicals legislation
Even if fragmented, South African legislation on chemical substances shows some discernable patterns. The Hazardous Substances Act overlaps with the Occupational Health and Safety Act (and its Regulations for Hazardous Chemical Substances) and others relating to fertilizers and worker safety acts.

Hazardous substances 1973
The Hazardous Substances Act aims at restricting or controlling the use of toxic substances which may have negative effects on human health. It makes provision for the classification of certain substances according to their hazardous rating by the health department.

Worker safety 1995
More recent, with amendments from 1995, is the Occupational Health and Safety Act, the provisions of which apply to employers duties regarding workers’ exposure to hazardous chemical substances with specific standards for lead and asbestos.

Customer comments

No comments were found for South Africa - improving chemicals and waste legislation. Be the first to comment!