PRETORIA PORTLAND CEMENT COMPANY LIMITED SUBMISSION
Portfolio Committee on Environmental Affairs and Tourism
Date 30 January 2004
Subject SUBMISSION ON THE AIR QUALITY BILL
Section 27: Atmospheric.Impact Reports
The reference in item (a) permitting an air quality officer to exercise powers on a "reasonable suspicion" appears to be arbitrary an has the potential to be abused. Citizens are in terms of section 33 of the Constitution entitled to just administrative action. Item (b) follows this route by eventually reverting to sections 35 and 37 in which administratively just procedures are contained. We submit that the concern in respect of item (a) can be Addressed by obliging the Minister to make regulations setting out the powers and duties of air quality officers in terms of section 50 (I) and that this be inserted as a sub item in section 14 and cross-referencing it in section 27, item (a).
Section 37: Responses to license applications
Subsection (2) requires that applicants must be notified promptly as to the outcome of license applications. We submit that this is a little vague and suggest that reasonable, fixed time limits be applied such as that contained in section 14 of the Competition Act 89/98.
Section 46: Definition of person - business, individual or both?
Throughout the Bill there are a number of reference to "person". In most cases it can be easily interpreted to mean both a juristic or a natural person. In section 46 however the difference becomes unclear in the context of that section. Generally the intention of section 46 is to determine whether an applicant (a natural or a juristic person) for an emission license is a fit and proper person (i.e. has continuously demonstrated bad air quality air management practices in the past).
Section 46(c) is confusing. It states that the licensing authority must determine whether a director or manager worked for a company that had a history of non-compliance. If it is strictly interpreted, section 46(c) is very restrictive and applies only to a natural person applying for an emission license in his own right and not as a member of a company. Was it not the intention of the legislator that the local authority must determine whether any manager or director of an applicant (in this case, a company) was previously employed by a non-complying company? If the latter, wider interpretation is followed, we submit it makes more sense in the bigger picture.
We submit that section 46(c) be amended to read as follows:
"whether a director or manager of the applicant is or was a manager or a director of a company or firm to whom paragraph (a) or (b) applies;"
The Association of Cement Producers (ACMP) has in the past offered to assist with training of Department officials in the interest of building capacity and improving air quality management generally. The ACMP is still eager to further private/public partnership.
Manager Legal Services