You are on page 1of 5


I, Thandi Precious Shabalala, declare that Assignment 01 for LEG2601 is my own work and
that all the resources used have been acknowledged by appropriates references.

Name: Thandi Precious Shabalala

Date: 16 March 2017


Question 1

Discuss briefly the supremacy of the Constitution in the context of environmental


The supremacy of the constitution means that all government departments from national,
provincial and local spheres have to conform to an authoritative spectrum of the constitution
in consideration of environmental law. The 1996 Constitution has created a new legal order
for South Africa and has enshrined as its founding principles democratic values such as
human dignity, equality and freedom.

The Constitution is the supreme (or highest) law of South Africa. This has put an end to the
supremacy of Parliament and, in terms of our new Constitution, all forms of law, Parliament
and all organs of law (found in all the sources of the law) must be consistent with the
Constitution, and the Constitution is, therefore, the most authoritative of all legal sources-
although not the only source of South Africa law.

If any law (e.g. legislation about environmental management) or actions (e.g. functions
performed by the environmental admirations) are inconsistent with the provisions of the
Constitution, such law or actions may be declared invalid or unconstitutional in a court of
law. The Constitution provides the legal rules in accordance with which everybodys actions
may be measured. It also sets out the standards that have to be used to protect the individual
against any abuse of state power. This means that South Africa must be governed according
to the Constitution.

Question 2

Discuss section 24(b) of the Constitution.

Section 24(b) imposes a constitutional obligation on the state to secure the environmental
Rights by way of reasonable legislation and other measures.
o These reasonable legislative and other measures must: (i) prevent pollution and
ecological degradation; (ii) promote conservation; and (iii) secure ecologically
sustainable development and use of natural resources while promoting justifiable
economic and social development. The government can, therefore, be forced to take
steps to protect the environment. The government has, however, complied with this
constitutional obligation by enacting a large Number of environmental statutes. The
framework environmental legislation is NEMA.
o Sustainable development is reflected in section 24(b) (iii). In terms of NEMA
Sustainable development is defined in section 1 as the integration of social, economic,
environmental factor into planning, implementation and decision-making so as to
ensure that development serves present and future generations.
o A central principle of NEMA (s 2(3)) determines that development must be socially,
environmental and economically sustainable. And the impact and consequences of
this principle should:
Apply in a constitutional context
They must serve as a general framework against which plans, as set out in the
Act, must be formulated.
They must serve as guidelines for any organ of state to function within, and
they must guide the interpretation, administration and implementation of any
law concerned with the protection or management of the environment.
o Land-use planning and management therefore take place within the framework of the
Constitution and the right to the environment.
o It does not place an express duty on the individual to protect the environment.
However, in terms of NEMA, a duty of care is placed on every citizen to look after
the environment and prevent it from being damaged.

Question 3

Yes the company must apply for environmental authorization.

And the procedure to follow in terms of the Environmental Impact Assessment Regulations,
2014 is as follows:

The activity must be listed first with the Government Notice No R983/4 and activity 27
which entails the clearance of indigenous vegetation under NEMA regulations, before any
proceedings; if it listed the following procedure must be followed:

o Application for environmental authorisation

o Appointing an environment assessment practitioner (EAP)
o A public participation process must be followed
o An environmental assessment must be complied
o Consideration of an environmental impact assessment report, granting the
authorisation, and decision.


Hahlo, H.R and Kahn, E. 1968. The South African legal system and its background. Juta ,
Cape Town.

Legal Aspects of Environmental Management Study Guide for LEG2601.