Introduction of local air quality management in South Africa: overview and challenges
Naiker, Y., Diab, R., Zunckel, M. and Hayes, E. T. (2012) Introduction of local air quality management in South Africa: overview and challenges. Environmental Science & Policy, 17. pp. 62-71. ISSN 1462-9011
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Publisher's URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envsci.2011.11.009
Air pollution control in South Africa has undergone a shift from the best practicable means to an Air Quality Management approach. Previous legislation was out-dated and did not achieve acceptable air quality. Further, policy and legislative developments necessitated a change, in accordance with overarching environmental legislation. The National Environment Management: Air Quality Act (AQA) heralded a new era, introducing international best practice, including the devolution of responsibility to local government and effects-based management. However, South African municipalities, as the incumbent local authorities, face several challenges in implementing AQA. Pollution control falls within the context of competing priorities for basic service provision and economic development in local government. Further challenges include the lack of political will, consultation and communication, the limited use of planning tools, and a non-strategic approach to Air Quality Management. The publication of a strategy document, the National Framework for Air Quality, provides guidance to all levels of government on implementation. Other developments include the publication of national ambient air quality standards, and listed activities and emission standards, development of an Air Quality Management Planning manual, and processes to issue atmospheric emission licenses. Several recommendations are included to address these challenges.
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