Mandated to protect the environment by enforcing laws, Green Scorpions have maintained, and in some cases even increased, levels of compliance and enforcement activity in past financial years.
That’s according to statistics outlined in the National Environmental Compliance and Enforcement Report, which was officially released on Monday.
Environmental crimes include illegal dumping of hazardous waste, illegal deep-sea fishing, ivory smuggling, and illegal land development.
“Criminal investigations into environmental crimes increased by 7.6% over the previous financial year, with 952 criminal records registered. A total of 1,091 conviction fines worth 408 730.00 reais were paid, an increase of 6.6%. I was arrested,” said Deputy Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and Environment Mahotso Sochu.
Sotyu will be presenting at the 9th Annual Environmental Compliance and Enforcement Lekgola in Gauteng from November 14-17, 2022, with the theme “Facing the Uncharted Sea: New Challenges and Solutions for Green Scorpions” gave a speech at
“Environmental crime convictions increased 262.5%, up from 16 in the previous fiscal year to 58. Six plea deals were signed and 129 warning letters were issued.” she said.
In 2021/22, 4,171 facilities were inspected as part of Green Scorpions’ compliance monitoring function.
“Of the 4,171 inspections, 2,918 were to confirm compliance with environmental permits and/or permits, strategic and routine inspections, and 1,253 were follow-up investigations triggered by complaints. 1,123 inspections related to Section 30 National Environmental Management Act (NEMA) incidents involving toxic substance spills and illegal dumping,” the deputy minister said.
Sotyu praised the increase in environmental compliance and enforcement activities achieved despite budget cuts.
This achievement comes at a time when the country’s economy is in recession and other priorities are competing for resources, limiting its ability to fill critical posts and fund its day-to-day operations.
The number of national and state Environmental Management Inspectors (EMIs) has decreased by more than 5% from 3,158 in fiscal 2020/21 to 2,995 in the previous fiscal year, according to the annual report.
The Deputy Minister urged Environmental Management Inspectors to seek new and innovative solutions to overcome the challenges of budgetary constraints and to continue to protect the environment in a way that does not adversely affect the health and welfare of the public. encouraged.
“It is against this background that the 9th Annual National Environmental Compliance and Enforcement Lekgola program offers the opportunity to freely explore potential solutions and how they can be most effectively implemented.” said Sotyu.
These include developing new national compliance and enforcement strategies, improving collaborative governance with other regulators, and fostering partnerships with the non-governmental and private sectors.
It is also encouraged to share best practices with other Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries, implement advanced use of information technology to optimize compliance and enforcement efforts, and upskill key development skills. I was.
(Including input from a South African government press release)