The Western Cape Department of Environmental Affairs and Development Planning (DEA&DP) has been recognised as the leading provincial department in administering and managing Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) projects in South Africa by the Environmental Assessment Practitioners Association of South Africa (EAPASA). DEA&DP shares this recognition with the Gauteng Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.

In response, Anton Bredell, Western Cape Minister of Local Government, Environmental Affairs and Development Planning said: “EIA processes are critical as part of our efforts to serve present and future generations by securing ecologically sustainable development and use of natural resources while promoting justifiable economic and social development.”

Bredell said that considering the state of our social and economic challenges as well as the state of our environment, this is now more important than ever. “We must ensure both efficiency and effectiveness, to within as short a time and with as little cost as possible, achieve maximum positive outcomes and impacts. “

This recognition, that the Western Cape is leading in terms of EIA administration and management in South Africa, strengthens our resolve to accelerate our EIA efforts as part of the shift from recovery to growth for the people of the Western Cape and South Africa, Bredell said.

“It also requires a team effort, and therefore the DEA&DP team is working with other authorities, environmental assessment practitioners and specialists, government and private sector developers, civil society, and communities. Thank you to the DEA&DP team for your continued service excellence and thank you to all the role players for your part in this award.”

This award builds on recognition the department received in 2022 for being the department with the most qualified and certified EIA practitioners in South Africa. At the time Bredell said: “From 8 August 2022, only a Registered Environmental Assessment Practitioner may investigate, assess, and prepare EIA reports and documents. Because we support an enabling business environment, DEA&DP has ensured that all officials working with EIA approvals are registered at EAPASA. Also, I am proud to say, DEA&DP currently has the highest number of EAPASA registered officials in South Africa.”

The department was also recognised in 2022 by the National Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries for having the best Environmental Law Enforcement Compliance Team in South Africa.

Source: Government of South Africa