National Environmental Management Act 107 of 1998 as amended in 2017 requires that any activity listed under listing 1,2 and 3 may not commence without an Environmental Authorization and therefore and Environmental Impact Assessment should be conducted. Sections 24 and 44 of NEMA make provision for the promulgation of regulations that identify activities which may not commence without an Environmental Authorization (EA) issued by the competent authority, in this case, the National Department of Environment Affairs (DEA).

The EIA Regulations, 2017 (Government Notice (GN) R982), promulgated in terms of NEMA, govern the process, methodologies and requirements for the undertaking of EIAs in support of EA applications. The EIA Regulations are accompanied by Listing Notices (LN) 1-3 that list activities that require EA.

The EIA Regulations, 2017, lays out two alternative authorization processes. Depending on the type of activity that is proposed, either a Basic Assessment (BA) process or a S&EIR process is required to obtain EA. LN 1 lists activities that require a BA process, while LN 2 lists activities that require S&EIR.  LN 3 lists activities in certain sensitive geographic areas that require a BA

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