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Environment Conservation Act. No. 73 OF 1989.

Type of law
Date of original text


The Act aims at providing for the effective protection and controlled utilization of the environment and for matters incidental thereto. It is divided into the following Parts: Policy for environmental conservation (I); Council for the Environment, Committee for Environmental Management (II); Protection of natural environment (III); Control of environmental pollution (IV); Control of activities which may have detrimental effect on the environment (V); Regulations (VI); Offences, penalties and forfeiture (VII); General provisions (VIII).
Part III empowers competent authorities under the Act to declare any area as a protected natural environment if there are adequate grounds to presume it will promote the preservation of specific ecological processes, natural systems and beauty, species of indigenous wildlife, biotic diversity in general. Landowners/occupiers may lodge objections. Special nature reserves, including territorial waters, may also be established in State-owned areas. Access to such areas is restricted to scientists or officers. Part IV contains provisions on the prohibition of littering and waste management. Part V covers activities such as land use and transformation, water use and disposal, agriculture, industry, waste and sewage disposal, etc. Once such activities have been officially identified it becomes forbidden to engage in them without written authorization. The Minister may also declare "Limited Development Areas". Regulations may be made on waste management, noise pollution, environmental impact assessment, limited development areas and general matters.
Environmental Governance and Rights
Date of consolidation/reprint
Consolidated version of Act No. 73 of 1989 as amended last by the National Environmental Laws Amendment Act of 2009.
Source language


Legislation status
in force
Legislation Amendment
Toolkit legislation
Regulatory Approach
Plastic toolkit tags
Product bans, Waste disposal, Waste management, Waste prevention
Implemented by