Environmental Issues In South Africa

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Introduction In the last century all of the Earth’s ecosystems have been significantly transformed through human actions causing a widespread degradation of ecosystem services, much of these changes are owed to the industrial revolution (Millennium Ecosystem Assessment 2005). It has only been a mere forty years since global society has moved into a ‘modern’ environmental era, where the idea of an ecological and socially sustainable relationship between man and the environment has developed (Richardson and Wood 2006). Sustainable development is ‘the integration of social, economic and environmental factors into planning, implementation and decision making so as to ensure that development serves present and future generations’ (NEMA 1998). It…show more content…
Other environmental laws are more preventative in nature, seeking to assess the possible impacts before damage from human activities can occur (UNEP 2008). Within environmental law there are principles that assist in implementing the law, for example the precautionary principle, the polluter pays principle and sustainability (NEMA 2008). These principles assist in maintaining and protecting both renewable and renewable resources, biodiversity which directly and indirectly protects society and the…show more content…
The recent urbanization and industrialization has taken a toll on South Africa’s environment. The mining sector, which is a major part of the country’s economy, is responsible for most of these environmental issues. South Africa’s predominant environmental challenges have been recognised as climate change, deforestation, water pollution, nuclear waste, overfishing and poaching (Bounaim 2013). Rationale The National Environmental Compliance and Enforcement Reports give a detailed account of the contraventions and non-compliances that take place annually, the proactive and reactive inspections that are conducted, as well as the jurisprudence that has been ruled regarding the contraventions and non-compliances. However, no analyses and examination has been done on the trends in the contraventions and non-compliances that have taken place and have been recorded in the last seven years of the reports being published and the factors influencing these trends, thus this will form the basis of my

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