Environmental Management

Schedules 4B and 5B contain a total of 38 ‘local government matters’ which, under the subsections above, are the responsibility of local government. The following are of particular relevance to the management of the environment:

  •  Air pollution
  • Fire-fighting services
  • Local tourism
  • Municipal planning
  • Municipal health services
  • Storm water management in built up areas
  • Water and sanitation services (limited to potable water supply systems and domestic waste-water and sewerage disposal systems)
  • Beaches
  • Cleansing
  • Local amenities
  • Municipal parks and recreation
  • Noise pollution
  • Public places
  • Refuse removal, refuse dumps and solid waste removal


NEMA provides the overarching legislative framework for environmental governance in South Africa. Several sector specific National Environmental Management Acts (SEMA’s) have now been promulgated, all of which fall under the overarching NEMA. The point of departure of NEMA is a set of National Environmental Management Principles that inform any subsequent environmental legislation, implementation of that legislation and formulation and implementation of environmental management plans at all levels of government.

The following principles reflect the core values of NEMA:

  • Environmental management must place people and their needs at the forefront of its concern, and serve their physical, psychological, developmental, cultural and social interests equitably.
  • Development must be environmentally, socially and economically sustainable.

Related Environmental Documents