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Environmental Law Seminar, May 2017: Environmental Enforcement and Risks – Targets, Trends and Tips

12 May 2017
– 2 Minute Read


Bowmans hosted a seminar addressing environmental enforcement in South Africa at its Johannesburg office on 11 May 2017. The team expanded on recent developments in enforcement, the sectors and industries which are being targeted and the trends that have been observed. They also provided practical views on managing the risks, maintaining compliance and what to do in the event of being targeted for enforcement.

  • Back to basics: administrative and criminal legal principles in environmental law enforcementTina Terblanche

Certain fundamental administrative, criminal and legal interpretation principles are sometimes overlooked by environmental authorities in the context of enforcement measures. Some of these essential legal principles, and how they might be relevant in responding to enforcement steps, were discussed. Click here to download the presentation.

  • Environmental enforcement trends in 2016 and 2017 from the Enforcement Directorate of the DEA or the Green Scorpions (including NEMA, the NWA and the AQA)Melissa Strydom

Recent trends in enforcement by the environmental authorities, particularly criminal enforcement in the context of ‘brown issues’ were discussed.  Conclusions drawn from the Department of Environmental Affairs’ annual National Environmental Compliance and Enforcement Reports were shared along with insights on the activities targeted and the developing trends in the enforcement mechanisms used. Click here to download the presentation.

  • Private sector initiated environmental enforcement: the rise of NGO initiated criminal investigations and administrative action litigationWandisile Mandlana

Private sector parties and non-governmental organisations are playing an increasingly significant role in policing compliance. Aside from lobbying and public participation processes, other strategies are being used with some success, including strategically focussed litigation. Some of the recent court actions, campaigns and approaches relating to environmental issues were discussed. Click here to download the presentation.

  • Managing environmental risk at a corporate and day-to-day level: what to do to avoid environmental crimes and how to react if accused or raided  – Michael Vermaak,

This presentation offered some perspective on managing the risks of, and provided practical steps that can be taken to avoid, inadvertent non-compliance. It also gave some information on what can be done if an organisation is being investigated by the environmental authorities.  Click here to download the presentation.