The Environmental Assessment Practitioners Association of South Africa (Eapasa) has called on government to allow environment impact assessment (EIA) processes to continue, particularly for projects related to the provision of services and infrastructure with a public-interest focus.
The association is concerned about the financial stability of environmental assessment practitioners (EAPs) during this time of restricted working.
Not only that, but Eapasa says the suspension of environmental authorisations and other environmental legal processes has also impacted on developers, planners, architects, engineers and contractors owing to delays in processing applications for development projects.
In turn, many of these development projects sustain or create jobs.
EIA processes have been suspended along with many other activities since the start of South Africa’s lockdown, but government has not issued directives related to environmental administration for Level 3 of lockdown, which becomes effective on June 1.
“As the construction sector resumes work on June 1, the associated professional services provided by EAPs, as well as officers for occupational health, safety and the environment, are essential and must be allowed to resume work,” Eapasa says.