Environmental Management Officials has statutory obligation to protect the environment for the present and the future generations as enshrined in the Constitution’s Bill of Rights
In particular, the Bill of Rights stipulates 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 –
(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”.
Sustainable Development is defined as Development that meets the needs of the present generation without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs”
Section 152 of the Constitution, together with Schedules 4 and 5, outline the objectives, powers and functions of national, provincial and local government. The objectives for local government are to:
- Provide democratic and accountable government for local communities;
- Ensure the provision of services to communities in a sustainable manner;
- Promote social and economic development;
- Promote a safe and healthy environment; and
- Encourage the involvement of communities and community organisations in the matters of local government.