For your interest (and some scary reading), it looks like the Department of Environment Forestry and Fisheries, in July 2020, issued a directive in terms of section 30A NEMA for establishing some “floating” gas generation infrastructure in excess of 20MW, within the Ports of Ngqura, Richards Bay, Saldhana Bay and Durban – see details attached – sidestepping the EIA and public participation process.


Section 30A permits a competent authority, on its own initiative or on written or oral request from a person, to “direct a person verbally or in writing to carry out a listed or specified activity, without obtaining an environmental authorisation contemplated in section 24(2)(a) or (b), in order to prevent or contain an emergency situation or to prevent, contain or mitigate the effects of the emergency situation”. DEFF has relied on the COVID pandemic as the emergency situation to justify directing this project to go ahead immediately. But no evidence is provided on how this particular project would “prevent, contain or mitigate” the effects of the pandemic (I don’t see how it could).


Section 30A defines an ‘emergency situation‘ as “a situation that has arisen suddenly that poses an imminent and serious threat to the environment, human life or property, including a disaster‘ as defined in section 1 of the Disaster Management Act, 2002 (Act No. 57 of 2002), but does not include an incident referred to in section 30 of this Act.”


The stakeholder info documents says that this project is a “significant contribution to life-saving initiatives through secured energy supply within the shortest time period”.


Some details on the directive below: