Compiled by the Government Communication and Information System
Water and Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa has, under the National Environmental Management: Air Quality Act, declared the Waterberg area as a national priority area.
According to the department, a priority area in terms of the Air Quality Act is an area in which ambient air quality standards are being exceeded, or may be exceeded or any other situation which causes, or may cause a significant negative impact on air quality in the area.
This may be the result of emissions from specific sources that may expose individuals to elevated risks of adverse health effects and contribute to the cumulative health risks of emissions from other sources in the area
"The area therefore requires specific air quality management actions to rectify or avoid the deterioration of the air quality, thus ensuring that the Constitutional right to an environment that is not harmful to health and wellbeing is upheld," the department said.
The areas covered include the Bojanala District in North West and the Waterberg District in Limpopo that is part to several local municipalities such as Thabazimbi, Modimolle, Mogalakwena, Bela-Bela, Mookgophong and Lephalale in Limpopo, and Moses Kotane, Rustenburg and Madibeng in the North West province.
The department said in addition to covering rapidly developing areas in two provinces, the Waterberg priority area was also a proactive approach to potential trans-boundary air quality impact that may arise between South Africa and Botswana.
"This proactive approach is therefore in support of future sustainable development in the area, provides regulatory certainty, and ensures that air quality levels remain within the national ambient air quality standards," it said. - BuaNews