There is legislation that addresses polluting. It would be wise to take notice of this if you are in the habit (or are considering) of disposing your waste in places and ways other than that which is acceptable. Below is a summary of the applicable legislation…


To provide for co-operative environmental governance by establishing principles for decision-making on matters affecting the environment, institutions that will promote cooperative governance and procedures for co-ordinating environmental functions exercised by organs of state; to provide for certain aspects of the administration and enforcement of other environmental management laws; and to provide for matters connected therewith. [Long title amended by s. 3 of Act 56/2002 and substituted by s. 13 of Act 46/2003] (12)

Any person may, after giving the Director-General or provincial head of department 30 days’ notice, apply to a competent court for an order directing the Director-General or any provincial head of department to take any of the steps listed in subsection (4) if the Director-General or provincial head of department fails to inform such person in writing that he or she has directed a person contemplated in subsection (8) to take one of those steps, and the provisions of section 32 (2) and (3) shall apply to such proceedings with the necessary changes. 

(13) When considering any application in terms of subsection (12), the court must take into account the factors set out in subsection (5).

(14) No person may – (a) unlawfully and intentionally or negligently commit any act or omission which causes significant or is likely to cause significant pollution or degradation of the environment; (b) unlawfully and intentionally or negligently commit any act or omission which detrimentally affects or is likely to affect the environment in a significant manner; or (c) refuse to comply with a directive issued under this section. (15) Any person who contravenes or fails to comply with subsection (14) is guilty of an offence and liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding R1 million or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding 1 year or both such a fine and such imprisonment.

The National Environmental Management Act (NIMA) advocates sustainable development, and states that, “waste should be avoided, or where it cannot be altogether avoided, minimised and re-used or recycled where possible and otherwise disposed of in a responsible manner”.

The Environmental Management Act (Act 107 0f 1998) requires that everyone who has caused or may cause significant pollution or degradation of the environment must take reasonable measures to prevent and remediate that pollution.

The Fundamental Principles of Waste Management are:

The “Duty of care” principal stipulates that any person handling or managing hazardous substances or related equipment is ethnically responsible for applying the most care. 

The “Proximity principle” requires the treatment and disposal of waste takes place as near as possible to the point of production and environmentally possible.

The “Precautionary principle” requires that when an activity raises threats or harm to human health or the environment, precautionary measures should be taken even if some course and effect relationships are not fully established scientifically.

The “Polluter pays principle,stipulates that all waste producers are legally and financially responsible for Safe and environmentally sound disposal and creating an incentive to produce less.

The “Cradle to grave principle” stipulates that it is the generator who is responsible for the management of Waste from its inception until his final disposal the generator will be held legally responsible for personal injury or damage to the environment caused by the waste. The generator must therefore ensure that the waste is properly managed and disposed.

Promulgated by the National Water Act No. 36.1998,

Offenders could face a fine or imprisonment, which increases progressively for repeated offenders with maximum fines of R100 000, R200 000 and five years or 10 years imprisonment for the first and second time offenders, respectively.

The Constitution, states that everyone has the right to the environment (not 5% of the Coastal Environment) that is not harmful to their health or well-being and to have the environment protected through reasonable legislative measures.

eThekwini Municipality By-Laws

The revised municipal by-laws will be included…