South Africa to Waive Environmental Authorisation for Solar Farms in Low Sensitivity Areas

  • South Africa’s Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment Minister, Ms Barbara Creecy, has publish a gazette notice for public consultation, waiving environmental authorisation for solar farms when located in areas of medium or low environmental sensitivity.
  • The proposed concession also includes associated transmission infrastructure.
  • The Minister has given the public 30 days to comment on the proposed exclusion.

The move in line with the presidents sweeping energy reforms announced on 25 July 2022 where Cyril Ramaphosa explained that while existing legislation may be sufficient in ordinary times, the current crisis requires that we act decisively and more speedily.

Related news: Ramaphosa misses the boat spectacularly in his sweeping energy reforms

The president announced that he will be tabling special legislation in Parliament on an expedited basis to address the legal and regulatory obstacles to new generation capacity for a limited period which includes waiving or streamlining certain regulatory requirements where it is possible to do so within existing legislation.

“This includes reducing the regulatory requirements for solar projects in areas of low and medium environmental sensitivity. It also means Eskom can expand power lines and substations without needing to get environmental authorisation in areas of low and medium sensitivity and within the strategic electricity corridors,” said Ramaphosa.

Link to Creecy’s full gazette notice HERE

Author: Bryan Groenendaal

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