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National Environmental Management Act, 1998 (Act No. 107 of 1998)

Environmental Management Plan : Department of Labour



Notice No.1025

30 October 2009


As required in terms of Section 11(2) of the National Environmental Management Act.




December 2007




This second edition of the Environmental Management Plan has been developed for the Department of Labour in response to the requirements of Schedule 2 of the National Environmental Management Act (107 of 1998). An Environmental Management Plan is required since the Department exercises functions that involve the management of the environment.


The main focus of the Department of Labour is on the environment of the workers. Since 2001, after the first edition of EMP, the Department has managed to achieve amongst others, the following:

Promulgation of the Construction Regulations and Hazardous Biological Agents Regulations
It is has finalized the revision of the General Safety Regulations
The successful review of labour laws which led to the introduction of amendments to the Labour Relations Act (RLA), and the Basic Conditions of Employment Act (BCEA). This made our laws more sensitive to job creation.
Successful blitz inspections and advocacy campaigns were conducted, targeting high risk sectors like agriculture, construction, manufacturing, and wholesale and retail trade. About 3 800 workplaces were inspected and 100 shop stewards were trained together with 147 inspectors to collaborate in enforcing occupational health and safety legislation, resulting in a noticeable decrease in the number of accidents, injuries and fatalities reported in these targeted industries by 3,8% in 2005/06 and by 18% from April to September 2006.
Sectoral determinations were introduced in order to improve the position of vulnerable workers. These have included determinations covering workers in the private security sector, domestic workers, farm workers, and workers in the wholesale and retail sector. A National Programme of Action is also being developed to address the critical challenge of child labour.


The Environmental Management Plan provides a brief description of the mandate and functions of the Department of Labour, with regard to the environment. It describes mechanisms and procedures for cooperative governance for environmental management. Brief descriptions are also provided of the environmental management policies, norms or standards that the Department of Labour has in place, as well as the proposed plans and procedures for environmental management.


An important function of the Environmental Management Plan is to outline the priority actions required by the Department of Labour in order to integrate environmental management within its functions. These actions will assist in developing an environmental ethic within the Department and are summarised as follows-

Develop an efficient communication network for effective environmental management planning. The development by the Department of Labour of norms and standards, regulations and policies with regard to the environment will have implications for other sectors of government and will be impacted upon by policies from these sectors. Therefore, strategic planning and cooperation between the Department and other government departments is required.
Develop and implement environmental management policy and supporting legislation in accordance with existing Labour Acts and national environmental policy and legislation. The Department will plan for, and provide, a suitable framework strategy that will enable their officials to execute their functions in accordance with the requirements of national environmental legislation.
Develop and implement instruments to give effect to these policies and strategies. Guidelines should be developed for environmental management by the Department of Labour and in the workplace, ie the responsibilities of employers. Policies and other relevant instruments will be developed or existinq ones amended, in order to ensure environmental management is achieved by the Department of Labour's functions as well as in the workplace.
Develop specific environmental indicators to measure the performance of the Department in terms of its environmental management.
Involve stakeholders in the process of developing and revising policy to include environmental management. Stakeholders include national, provincial and local government departments, organised business and organised labour. Involvement of these stakeholders should prevent any conflicting policies from being developed by the various government departments.
Improve the expertise and capacity of the Department's officials in order to strengthen the effectiveness of the implementation of environmental management in the workplaces.
Create an awareness among all Department of Labour staff that environmental management is part of the functions of the Department.
Report on progress with the implementation of this EMP. In its annual report to DEAT, DOL will report on its progress with implementation of this EMP.
Revise and update the EMP as required by NEMA. The EMP will be updated every four years and submitted to the CEC.


The Environmental Management Plan will be updated every four years and submitted to the Committee for Environmental Co-ordination. The updated versions will include progress made with the implementation of this management plan and details on compliance with the Department's policies by other organs of state and employees. Once the Environmental Management Plans of the other government departments have been submitted and approved by the Committee for Environmental Co-ordination, the Department of Labour will be able to comment, in their annual report to the Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism, on whether they are compatible as well as the extent of compliance with their departmental Environmental Management Plan both by the Department of Labour themselves and other departments.





Advisory Council for Occupational Health and Safety


Committee for Environmental Co-ordination


Committee for Environmentally Sound Management of Hazardous Materials


Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism


Department of Minerals and Energy


Department of Agriculture


Department of Health


Department of Labour


Department of Transport


Department of Safety and Security


Department of Trade and Industry


Environmental Implementation Plan


Environmental Management Plan


Genetically Modified Organism


Hazardous Biological Agent


Industrial Development Zone


International Labour Organisation


Internal Management and Operations


Interdepartmental advisory committee for the protection of humans against poisonous substances


Local Economic Development


National Centre for Occupational Health


National Environmental Management Act


National Skills Authority


National Strategy for Sustainable Development


Occupational Health and Safety


Occupational Health and Safety Act


Persistent Organic Pollutant


Retrenchment Response Team


South African Bureau of Standards


Spatial Development Initiative


Sector and Education Training Authority


Small, Medium and Micro Enterprise


Unemployment Insurance Fund


United Nations Commission for Sustainable Development


United Nations Environment Programme